Nacogdoches takes precaution for firework display

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Each year pyrotechnicians start early and stay late on the Nacogdoches soccer fields, adjacent to downtown. This year they're well aware of the Texas drought and the bit of nervousness about explosives going off so close to the oldest town in Texas.

"The protocol for us doesn't change whether there's a drought or not," said Jeff Hurley, a pyrotechnician support staff. "When I first started this, I met with an old man who had done it since the '20's. And he said there were three rules for pyrotech support. Safety, safety, safety."

Planning began weeks ago. Perimeters are determined and shared with local emergency workers. The largest shells are used for the Nacogdoches display. Sparks can fly a long distance.

This evening fire fighters and pyrotechnicians practice their weather observation skills. It's essential during really dry conditions.

"We watch the prevailing winds closely. We actually set up our mortars and angle them and work them so the debris field when it does fall has the least chance of setting a fire," said Hurley.

Within the perimeter is Pilar Street. Some residents are taking an added precaution by running water sprinklers to keep their property moist.

"We're also going to have the Nacogdoches fire department. Unlike usual, they will be actually stationing trucks and men in that area, just in case debris falls over there," said Sarah O'Brien, Main Street director.

A closed firework stand on the Fourth of July seldom happens. Local police will be looking for anyone who might have some fireworks left over from last year.

"There will be zero tolerance. If they're caught with them, they will be fined," warned Nacogdoches Police Officer James Jordan.

So this year leave the fireworks to the professionals. Sit back, look up and enjoy the show.

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