Arizona cities gear up for fireworks show in extreme drought

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Most Arizona cities are still doing fireworks. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Most Arizona cities are still doing fireworks. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
in Tempe this year, it’s business as usual. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) in Tempe this year, it’s business as usual. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
At Westgate in Glendale, the situation is different because there’s no lake for the fallout. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) At Westgate in Glendale, the situation is different because there’s no lake for the fallout. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Fireworks are the quintessential way to celebrate our country‘s independence. But here in Arizona, we deal with some unique challenges.

“We are very aware of the drought conditions. I know it doesn’t only affect the forest, it affects this area also,” said Tempe assistant fire chief Hans Silberschlag.

Ninety-seven percent of the state is in a drought. Flagstaff, Williams, Prescott, Prescott Valley, Cave Creek and Show Low have all canceled their shows. Last year, a 15-acre brush fire started near Desert Ridge after a firework show.

[READ MORE: Reach 11 fireworks show sparks brush fire in north Phoenix (July 1, 2017)]

But in Tempe this year, it’s business as usual.

“We pick a wide spot of the lake, so the fallout should go in that area,” Silberschlag said.

Even though Tempe is unique things to the lake, the fire department will still have trained eyes all around.

[RELATED: Despite high fire danger, most fireworks shows around the state still scheduled]

“Everyone is supposed to keep their eyes and ears open and be on the lookout for any fallout from the fireworks,” Silberschlag said.

At Westgate in Glendale, the situation is different because there’s no lake for the fallout.

“Hopefully, we find a dirt lot or something that’s already done,” said Capt. Kevin Thompson with the Glendale Fire Department. “Out there, we’ve been able to identify such a place. We have a field out here.” 

[RELATED: City of Flagstaff cancels July 4 fireworks show]

Thompson says they will be extra careful, with crews strategically placed just in case.

“If a small spot fire or something like that kicks off, our command staff will be able to quickly activate fire trucks,” Thompson said.

[RELATED: Even the pros must follow 4th fireworks safety procedures]

Silberschlag also told us that while they have never had to stop a show, they will do so if things get unsafe. 

[RELATED: New ruling puts damper on Cave Creek's annual fireworks]

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