Prairie dog plague outbreak cancels fireworks show

August 2, 2019 GMT

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (AP) — Colorado officials have closed parks and canceled a Major League Soccer game’s fireworks display after plague was confirmed in prairie dogs in a Denver suburb.

The Tri-County Health Department said Thursday that prairie dog burrows in Commerce City are being sprayed with insecticide to kill fleas that could transmit the disease to the rodents, people and pets.

Health officials say Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge and Prairie Gateway Open Space are temporarily closed.

Colorado Rapids officials say Saturday’s game against the Montreal Impact will go on as scheduled, but they have canceled a fireworks show planned for afterward. Parking at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, where the Rapids play, is restricted to asphalt lots.


Rapids officials said in a statement the precautions will minimize the risk of exposure to fans, players and employees.