TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The July 4th celebration in Marana that ended with more than four acres burned due to a wildfire sparked by a firework, has residents thinking twice about how to handle future Independence Day events.
“Kinda weird, because my brother was over here (near the fire), so I was just hoping they were okay,” said Hector Romero, who was watching the fireworks from a trail near his home. “This morning we were wondering what it would look like when we get there.”
Romero and his wife had plans to play tennis at Silverbell Park on Friday, but were not sure if the courts would even still be there as they watched the nearby riverbed go up in flames.
Northwest Fire was prepared with crews on standby, they began fighting the fire immediately. More than two dozen firefighters helped keep the fire contained. This is the third time in recent memory the fireworks show has caused a wildfire.
“They don’t do it on purpose of course,” said Romero. “But the fact that it keeps happening is something to take note of.”
Nearly 24 hours after the fire, NWFD crews remained on scene of the brush fire, extinguishing hot spots.
“It was amazing because there was a fire and smoke, and fireworks still going off,” said Jennifer Oswald, who was nearby watching the fireworks display. “It’s Arizona, it’s hot, fires are going to happen with fireworks, so not that surprised. It was surprising how big it got, that was surprising.”
Romero still wants to see fireworks, but thinks big changes to the fire prevention plan should be on the way.
“It’s part of the tradition and festivities,” he said. “We want to really enjoy the community and all the good times we have. We also want to know that we’re safe when we go to these things.”