As the "A" Mountain fireworks lit up the night sky on the 4th of July, a brush fire ended up lighting up the side of the mountain in flames. As this happened and for the hours to come, people took to social media to express their thoughts and feelings about the fireworks show.
Everyone acting like it's ok for A Mountain to catch fire every year
— dark king (@_Valkorion) July 5, 2017
"A" mountain fire .... Was it worth it? #Tucson so sad seeing those Saguaros burning ??
— ♥MarC♥™ (@cleo77s) July 5, 2017
What happened to the fire at A mountain tho? Did they put it out or are we gonna die
— Deya Mendoza (@deyanight) July 5, 2017
— Juliette (@Perceptions) July 5, 2017
'A' mountain catching on fire makes me so sad.... that's one of my sacred spots right there
— M ? (@mawiafrancoo) July 5, 2017
However, the fire department felt it was okay to put on the yearly fireworks show despite the dry conditions, because they were well prepared for the mountain to catch fire, according to TFD Captain Julian Herrera.
"Obviously it's not an ideal situation," he said. "But, that's exactly what we planned for. We had all of the resources there and available, and they did exactly what we needed them to do."
Capt. Herrera explained fire crews plan well ahead of the show, that way in case the mountain does spark up -- which it has before -- fire crews can act and put out the flames quickly.
"It's years of doing this," he said. "Because what happened yesterday has happened before. So a lot of times, we take what we've learned from the times before and utilize it."
Despite the flames visible on the mountain from far away, the fire captain said that fire wasn't necessarily TFD's biggest concern of the evening -- because they were prepared for it. Between 7:00 p.m. and midnight, Capt. Herrera said TFD responded to 48 other brush fire calls that mostly came from personal fireworks accidents.
"Those scare us because we don't have a plan for those," he said. "As we're responding to the situation, every situation is different. We're coming up with a plan as we get there."
With conditions remaining hot and dry, he is urging people to not confuse "legal with safe," and to always take extra precautions when setting off recreational, legal fireworks.