These fire-prone places are ditching fireworks for drones this July Fourth
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These fire-prone places are ditching fireworks for drones this July Fourth

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A sparse group of people brave the smoky conditions at Kings Beach, California, as the Caldor Fire burns nearby on Saturday, September 4th, 2021 | Jane Tyska / Digital First Media / East Bay Times via Getty Images

After two years of Fourth of July celebrations without fireworks during the COVID-19 pandemic, the California resort community of North Lake Tahoe is ready to light up the sky again. But instead of traditional fireworks, more than 100 drones will take off for a light show choreographed to music. Like an increasing number of communities throughout the region, city planners chose fire safety and sustainability over nostalgia as California copes with a cruel megadrought.

“Fireworks come with their own list of known environmental impacts—including noise pollution, impacts to the lake, and increased risk of fire at a time when the wildfire risk is already so high,” Katie Biggers, executive director of the Tahoe City Downtown Association,…

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