Fire fear nixes Mount Rushmore July 4th fireworks

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MOUNT RUSHMORE NATIONAL MEMORIAL, S.D. (AP) — Officials say they’re canceling Mount Rushmore’s nationally televised July Fourth fireworks show because of wildfire worries.

Park Superintendent John Scott said Wednesday that officials fear the display that draws thousands of onlookers and has been broadcast all over the county could spark a fire this summer.

Scott says mountain pine beetle damage has left many dead trees standing with intact needles, which could serve as tinder and heighten the wildfire risk for this coming summer.

This July’s display would have marked the monument’s 13th annual show. It’s drawn more than 30,000 people in the past and tourism officials say millions more have watched lives nationwide broadcasts via satellite feed.