It just seems hard to get away from fire when you’re doing fireworks.
Thursday night’s inaugural Clark County Fourth at the Fairgrounds event was a big success, drawing an estimated 6,500 people, according to Mickey Webb, CEO of the Clark County Event Center at the Fairgrounds.
But the event — intended to tamp down fireworks mayhem, especially accidental fires, in Clark County neighborhoods by providing a professional display — still managed to generate a little accidental conflagration of its own.
“It was great ’til the fire started!” was a typical post on Facebook afterwards.
“I remember the fort field catching on fire many times when we watched there,” posted another.
“All in all, we were pretty happy with it,” Webb said. “We were just disappointed that the fireworks display had to end early. We did have a pretty decent-sized grass fire.”
That fire was confined to the fireworks fallout zone in a field just south of where the fireworks were being launched, pretty far from where people were gathered in the grandstands, Webb said. The fire was caused by sparks from a low-flying mortar, not by any fireworks malfunction, he added, but it did result a substantial enough fire to prompt the fire marshal to stop the show early.
“We did have Fire District 6 on standby, on the grounds, and they were able to respond quickly,” said Webb, “but the fire marshal was concerned enough to cancel the rest of the event.”
In the end, Webb said, what was supposed to be a 25-minute fireworks display got stopped at the 15-minute mark. “No structures were in danger, it was all in the grass,” he said, “but we always want to err on the side of safety.”