Summer in California is officially under way, and the warm temperatures bring increased outdoor activities, with the Fourth of July being no exception.
Many Californians and tourists will be celebrating our nation’s independence with fireworks, and Cal Fire wants to stress the importance of fireworks safety and the state’s zero tolerance against illegal fireworks.
“If you are going to use fireworks, check first with your local fire department to make sure they are allowed in your area. If they are, use only fireworks that carry the state Fire Marshal’s ‘Safe and Sane’ seal,” said Cal Fire Marshal Tonya Hoover.
California has zero tolerance for the sale and use of illegal fireworks, according to a Thursday Cal Fire news release.
Illegal fireworks include sky rockets, bottle rockets, Roman candles, aerial shells, firecrackers and other types that explode, go into the air or move on the ground in an uncontrollable manner.
It is illegal to sell, transport, or use fireworks that do not carry the “Safe and Sane” seal, as well as to possess or use any fireworks in a community where they are not permitted.
If convicted, a violator could be fined up to $50,000, as well as sent to jail for up to one year, the release states. There are nearly 300 communities within California that allow “Safe and Sane” fireworks.
“Even with a temporary cool-down and rain in parts of Northern California, our fire activity remains significantly higher than average,” said Cal Fire Chief Ken Pimlott. “With how dry conditions are, if fireworks are used illegally or in an unsafe manner, they can easily spark a fire or cause injuries; the consequences to our communities can be devastating.”
Cal Fire is asking Californians to prepare for wildfires by taking these actions:
· Check that fireworks are allowed in the area of use.
· Make sure the firework has the state Fire Marshal “Safe and Sane” seal.
· Purchase fireworks only from legitimate organizations authorized to sell.
· Have a bucket of water, sand or a garden hose available at firing site.
· Read instructions before use.
· Dispose of used fireworks in water.
· Never alter, modify or enhance fireworks.
· Make sure fireworks have proper clearance from flammable materials including dry grass and brush.
For information about safe fireworks use, visit the Cal Fire web site at http://fire.ca.gov.