The Shows Will Go On: Private Clubs Take Steps To Keep Fireworks Displays Safe

By Jeff Neumeyer

July 4, 2012 Updated Jul 4, 2012 at 5:07 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) --- Two private clubs in Fort Wayne are lighting up the sky with fireworks on this Fourth of July, in spite of a burn ban in force in Allen County.

But precautions are being taken to try and make sure safety isn't lost in the thrilling "flashes and bangs".

Snap, crackle and pop.

It's what we've come to expect on 4th of July.

Burn bans in effect in counties across our viewing area have muffled the holiday tradition, but larger scale exhibitions like ones at two local golf clubs will still be putting a charge into the night-time air.

Jeff Neumeyer: " Obviously, it's very hot and dry, the reason for the prohibition on shooting off fireworks in neighborhoods. But at Sycamore Hills and at Fort Wayne Country Club, where they are shooting off commercial fireworks on the 4th, the conditions are very different."

That's because regular watering has been going on to keep the courses groomed for golfing members.

Jim Murua/Ft. Wayne Fire Marshal: " I've actually walked across both of those golf courses and actually they are pretty spongy, they are pretty wet, and we are going to be out there also to assist them in some areas where they couldn't quite reach, to get some water down in some of those areas."

City fire officials made formal requests of both venues to postpone their displays until the drought backs off, but because displays run by professionally certified fireworks outfits are not prohibited under the Allen County burn ban, the clubs could and did choose to go full speed ahead.

Sycamore Hills did not return a message seeking comment for this story.

The general manager at Fort Wayne Country Club, Sandy Frappier, told me she worked with city fire officials to ensure public safety would not be compromised.

Indeed, city firefighters are scheduled to be on site until the last explosion trails off.

Jim Murua: " We will have firefighters that are off-duty firefighters manning extra rigs that are out of service normally, and those rigs will be there on site, so we're not actually taking any resources away from the city. The city will still have all of its resources at all the stations and be able to respond to any type of emergency."

Murua says 4 to 8 firefighters will man each of the golf club exhibitions, and the clubs, not taxpayer dollars, will be paying the firefighters.

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