Wildfires in several western states, most notably Colorado.
Drought conditions across much of the country.
A derecho that has left more than 1 million customers without power along a path from Indiana to the Atlantic Ocean.
Combine those events and it's no huge surprise that many towns, counties and cities are canceling fireworks celebrations or banning personal use of fireworks (in places where they're normally permitted). Among the reports about cancelations or bans are some from news outlets in:
-- The suburbs of Washington, D.C.
It's not the major cities, for the most part, who are doing the canceling. In Washington, for example, fireworks are still set to go off above the National Mall on Wednesday night. Denver is going ahead with its professional displays.
But many suburbs and smaller communities are going without pyrotechnics this year. What if your town is among them? Well, there's always PBS-TV's annual broadcast of A Capitol Fourth — the show from the National Mall. It starts at 8 p.m. ET.
Here's PBS video of the 2007 show on the Mall to help set the mood.
(H/T to Alan Greenblatt.)
Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.