In the shadow of the Willow Fire burning just seven miles southwest of Payson, town officials are waiting to make a final decision about launching fireworks on July 4.
"This morning I met with the fire marshal and the town manager to discuss our plans," Bill Schwind, Payson Parks and Recreation Director said. "There are a lot of extra fire crews coming in from the Valley. They had good news Monday night. And weather wise -- things seemed to improve."
Schwind said the Southwest Area Type 1 Incident Management Team needs more time before they can make any solid predictions about the fire and how it might affect the holiday celebration.
"They're asking for 48 hours to get a better assessment," Schwind said. "Then, collectively, we'll make a decision at that point -- hopefully by Friday."
Even if the firework display is canceled, plans for an Independence Day concert and celebration are still on schedule. The event will feature family fun events from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, July 4, in the Green Valley Park amphitheater. There will be games, gunny-sack races, tug-o-war, and other activities for all ages with a concert by Young Country to follow.
Publisher's note: Subsequent Willow Fire developments could affect these plans. Watch this website for updates.