In Colorado Springs, Colo., entire neighborhoods have been reduced to apocalyptic landscapes in the most destructive wildfire in the state's history. About 350 homes have been destroyed, but many more have been saved, thanks to the hot shot fire crews battling the flames
"They were eating smoke and fire, enduring so much brutal heat, but they saved this neighborhood," said Steve Schoepper, a Colorado Springs firefighter.
The firefighters are on the ground again today and are getting help from the air. The massive C-130s have rejoined the fire fight after battling a blaze in South Dakota crashed on Sunday, which killed three.
Now the fear of new fires has led to communities in at least 20 states banning fireworks displays this July 4 because of tinder-dry conditions.
Indiana is one of the states where police will be watching the skies.
"It's pretty much going to be a cat and mouse game, especially once the word get out that it could be a $2,500 fine or a B misdemeanor," said Zachary Dalton of the Beech Grove Police Department.
The concern is well-founded. One study found fireworks caused more than 15,500 blazes and $36 million in property damage in 2010. Firefighters say leaving the fireworks to the professionals is the best way to insure the only "bombs bursting" really are in air.