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Fireworks Are Made Of Hot Stuff

I was hoping to have some pics of the 4th of July fireworks, but it didn't pan out. We ended up going to the Fireworks show in Marana this time, as it seemed the best option. Last time we went into downtown Tucson to catch the traditional "A mountain" fireworks, but meh, you can't get close enough to A mountain for one thing, they block the area off. The closest area downtown just isn't close enough, and of course, there's all the traffic and trying to find parking to deal with. I did get some pics of the fireworks, but they turned out pretty crappy and blurry. Then after the show was over and we were walking along in the big crowd of people leaving, I had a very close call when I tripped over a big row of tire spikes and fell, very nearly hitting my head and impaling myself on said spikes. I'd like to know who thought it was a good idea to leave all these tire spikes up instead of retracting them into their ground slots that evening as they should have done, knowing there were going to be large crowds of people walking through the area in the dark. These spikes are very difficult to see (especially when walking in the midst of a crowd), they blend in to the color of the black concrete, and the area is very dark. I'm lucky in that I was able to react quickly when I realized I was about to eat pavement, aiming my weight away from the spikes and tucked into a roll as I landed (I learned how to fall as a kid, and luckily still remember that stuff). So I was unhurt except for my dignity (however much I had to begin with) and a little scrape or two, but it could have been pretty bad had I landed on those spikes, and even worse had I been an elderly person or very young child. So, if you happen to own a property that has a parking lot containing tire spikes/shredders, and there is going to be some sort of event in the area after sundown, retract the damn things, or at the very least block them off so that people won't trip over them.

So anyway, this year we drove up to Marana for the "Star Spangled Spectacular" and had a pretty good vantage point at Silverbell Park, which is right across the wash (Santa Cruise "river") from where they where shooting the fireworks off. I brought along my cheapo digital camera and my Samsung Galaxy player thing (which has a camera on it), but unfortunately, I neglected to check either before leaving. The batteries in the digital cameras where dead, and my Samsung Galaxy didn't have any space left on it. So I didn't end up with any pictures this time. They did put on a good fireworks show though, and the park was a great place to view them. About 10 minutes or so into the show, I saw some smoke and flames that appeared to be coming from the large wash between where the fireworks were being shot off and us in the park. I had noticed some embers from the fireworks that appeared to remain burning hot as they fell down, and wondered about it. Apparently, some of these must have landed in the dry brush down in that wash, causing a fire, which grew quite rapidly. Within a couple minutes, the flames where quite large and you could hear roaring and crackling noises coming from them. There were thick clouds of smoke billowing up, although a slight breeze blew the smoke south along the wash and kept it out of the park area, luckily. While the flames stuck to the wash and didn't endanger any people or structures, it was an eerie site, especially given that a large wildfire just tragically killed 19 firefighters in this state. Of course, with the fireworks show going on, there were plenty of police, paramedics, and firefighters stationed in the area, so they responded quickly and got started putting out the flames. The fireworks paused momentarily, but resumed after a few minutes, and they were able to finish a pretty spectacular show. The grand finale was great. By the end, the fire appeared mostly contained. It was said to have consumed an area about the size of a football field. My hat is off to the Northwest Fire department firefighters, who were quick to put out the blaze and kept everybody safe, as well as all of the firefighters in the Tucson area who spent their 4th of July on duty in the heat. Applause also goes to those who put on the Marana fireworks event free for the public, and who remained calm when things got a bit hairy and still put on a really nice show.

A video clip of the brush fire down in the wash: