NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – As Nashville prepares for one of the largest fireworks shows in the country, dry conditions are causing concerns. With embers from such a large display, organizers are having to take precautions to avoid brush fires.
Landsen Hill is the president of Pyro Shows and has been in charge of Nashville’s Fourth of July fireworks display for decades. He started planning for this year’s show directly after last year’s Fourth of July celebration.
“There’s over 400,000 pounds of sand that’s being used to barricade the bigger shells. There’s over 10 tons of fireworks, so it’s going to be massive,” Hill explained.
But one thing Hill didn’t expect to have to deal with this year is Nashville being in a moderate drought.
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“The primary concern is that a spark will fall into a wooded area or somewhere that does not have easy access by fire control, and that can turn into a serious brush fire and then be a hazard to body and property,” Hill said.
Several Middle Tennessee counties are enforcing burn bans, which includes fireworks in some areas, but Hill said he’s confident Nashville has enough resources should sparks begin to fly.
“We have to get a permit; we have to get the fire marshal to sign off on it. So we have fire trucks on standby, we have emergency personnel on standby, and the people who shoot in their backyard or next to a wooded area don’t have that same kind of supervision or emergency response,” Hill said.
If flames do start, emergency officials will be able to attack the fire quickly.
Although this year’s drought is creating extra work for Hill, he’ll do whatever it takes to make sure the show still goes on.
“I can’t think of a place that all of the components of a show come together like they do in Nashville. The Symphony does an amazing job, the skyline is gorgeous. Nashville is the energy place to be in America and we want to do our part,” Hill said.