COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Shocking video from the top of Mt. Evans is making the rounds on social media, as a group of more than 140 people celebrated the Labor Day holiday with an illegal fireworks display.
Forest officials in the Pikes Peak region say actions like this can disturb the delicate alpine eco-system.
It all started as a quiet "cruise," but ended with an illegal display at the top of Mt. Evans. Now, members of a Colorado street racing club known as Nationwide Productions could soon be facing federal charges.
"Fireworks are always illegal in national forests," said Julie Bain, Public Affairs Officer for the Pike and San Isabel National Forests in Colorado, "And the reason for that is that no spark is safe. Fire safety is a concern no matter what elevation you're at."
The US Forest Service says the unsanctioned cruise took place on September 2, the night before the road closes for the season. Forestry officials found debris on the 14er and later pictures and videos online, showing more than 140 people at the peak.
Bain says no matter which peak you climb, the forest service asks you to "leave no trace."
"There are no cleanup crews that are dedicated to go up there," she said.
Now, the forest service is investigating the incident on Evans, saying in-part: "Fireworks have been responsible for causing destructive fires on public lands around the nation. They can frighten and hurt wildlife. They negatively affect the experience of other users, such as people who were camping at the campgrounds nearby or stargazing from the mountaintop."
So what about the fireworks we see in Colorado Springs off the top of Pikes Peak to ring in the New Year?
"The fireworks on Pikes Peak were going on when [the mountain] was still privately held and so it's been grandfathered in. But if anybody approached us now with such a request, the answer would be 'absolutely not,'" she said.
If you have information related to the "cruise" or the fireworks display, you're asked to contact the Forest Service.