An unrelenting heat wave brought more triple digits Friday, and broke records for highs in Knoxville.
With more heat on the way, some communities are rethinking their Fourth of July firework plans, in the name of fire safety.
"Everything around us, is simply like a tinderbox," said Athens Parks and Recreation Director Austin Fesmire. On Thursday, a lawn mower blade struck a rock, causing a spark that started a grass fire. Several acres of land burned.
The fire broke out at the Regional Park, where the community gathers each year to watch fireworks. Fesmire says the city decided to postpone the show until a later date.
"We put more sparks on the ground during the Fourth of July show then that lawn mower did," he explained. "And there's just not anyway to protect the people from this type of fire if it occurred during that show."
The fire department was already at the park working on another project, and was able to quickly contain the blaze and keep it from spreading to the woods.
Pyro Shows, a fireworks production company based in LaFollette, was scheduled to shoot the Athens display. The company has about 200 shows scheduled around the country for the holiday weekend.
Part-time employee Jim Chadwell said, the decision whether to "shoot" ultimately lies with the sponsor.
"If they say we cannot shoot, we don't shoot," said Chadwell.
However, he says safety is a shared responsibility during a show.
"We have people looking out for any little spark that might cause a fire. As soon as it's safe, we go in and water it down, have a shovel, a rake to make sure we get it out quickly."
Fesmire says, deciding to postpone the Athens show was difficult, but it was necessary to keep the community safe.
"It's not something we wanted to do, [but] something we have to."
Athens city officials are working with the appropriate permitting agencies to schedule another date for the fireworks and the duck race. They will be announced later.
The city of Corbin, Kentucky also postpone a fireworks show. It was scheduled for July 3 at the Corbin Arena, but the city's fire chief was very concerned about the danger of the fireworks sparking a fire.
That show will also be rescheduled for a later date.