Tucson Fire taking no chances ahead of A Mountain fireworks celebration

"A" Mountain fireworks prep

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The biggest fireworks in southern Arizona are set to go off tonight atop "A" Mountain, and firefighters are doing all they can to keep fire danger to a minimum.

“You’re going to have a wide range of different designs, styles, colors, heights and explosions,” said Kevin Luckenbill, Head Pyro for Fireworks Productions of Arizona. “Its going to be a really good show tonight.”

Nearly 1,000 fireworks are set to go off during the 25 minute show, which begins at 9:15 p.m.

“We hand light all of the shells for the main part of the show,” said Luckenbill, as his team prepares 5 and 8 inch tubes that will soon be filled with fireworks. “It’s hot today, and we are taking our time, safety is our number one priority.”

A Mountain firework preparation
A Mountain firework preparation (Source: KOLD News 13 Staff)

The Tucson Fire Department is supervising, but also doing their own preparations ahead of the show.

Volunteers and firefighters have been clearing low brush and dry vegetation from around the base of the mountain, and close to showtime crews from Tucson Water and the fire department will spray the sides of Sentinel Peak with water, keeping the ground moist as possible ahead of the celebration.

One significant change to the fire prevention strategy this year involves wildland firefighters, who will be stationed across the firework fallout area.

“They actually have backpacks full of water for spot fires,” according to Tucson Fire inspector Glenn D’Auria. “Every year is a little different, sometimes the product changes a little bit, but the safety aspects continue to be the same.”

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