East Ridge officials cautious with hot weather and fireworks - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

East Ridge officials cautious with hot weather and fireworks

Posted: Updated:

EAST RIDGE, TN (WRCB) -- Organizers of Liberty Fest at Camp Jordan in East Ridge have been braving triple-digit temperatures.

The event features a professional fireworks show Saturday night, but extreme heat and lack of rain can create a recipe for danger.

"We want to stop any issue before it starts," says East Ridge Deputy Fire Marshall Kenny Custer.

He has witnessed a few one-hundred-degree shows in the city's past. They went off without a hitch, but extra precautions will still be taken this year.

"Engine companies that'll be staged throughout the park. We have off-road vehicles that'll be staged throughout the park," explains Custer. "So, the main thing is that we're able to get to it before it escalates."

That is if anything happens.

Emergency staff will at least be doubled and plenty of surplus equipment will be on-hand in case any sparks stray. Strategic placement of the launch point is also planned.

"The area is away from the wooded area. We're going to be shooting more where it's fine-cut grass," says Custer.

Residents like Doreen Reno are excited about the show. She admits a fireworks accident never crossed her mind.

"I hadn't even thought of that aspect of it. Seriously. But, yeah, it could happen," says Reno.

She says she and her family will still go, feeling safe with ample safety personnel around.

Fireworks store owner Darrell Talley also eagerly awaits the holiday weekend. Although residents can buy fireworks for the first time in East Ridge, it's illegal for to shoot them off within city limits.

Regardless, Talley's not worried about sales. He's been in the business a long time.

"Nah! If it's illegal people will still do it," says Talley.

He says his Dixieland Fireworks is the only locally owned store in the city.

Custer admits unlicensed professionals will discharge fireworks, but encourages everyone to leave it to the experts.

"They've been doing it for a long time and they're going to come out and they're going to put on a good show," says Custer.

Otherwise, serious injury could be the result.

He also says if you're caught illegally shooting fireworks, you'll probably just get a warning the first time.

Further offenses result in court appearances and fines.

If it's legal to shoot fireworks in your area, click here for important safety tips.

Powered by Frankly