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Cal-Fire Urging Safety as Fourth of July Holiday Approaches

“Safe and Sane” Fireworks will go on sale in many communities across California today, and Cal-FIRE is reminding everyone to do their part to have a safe holiday by helping to prevent fires and injuries caused by fireworks.

With the 4th of July holiday around the corner, state fire officials are stressing the dangers and consequences of using illegal fireworks.

“Already this year our Arson and Bomb Investigators and Law Enforcement Officers have been busy assisting with numerous illegal fireworks enforcement operations,” said Chief Mike Richwine, California State Fire Marshal.

“We have a zero-tolerance stance toward the use, possession, and transportation of illegal fireworks. Even ‘Safe and Sane’ fireworks are banned in many communities and bring stiff fines for their illegal use.”

Over the past few months Cal-FIRE-Office of the State Fire Marshal’s specialized Arson and Bomb Investigators have been providing intelligence and support to local and federal illegal fireworks enforcement efforts. These operations have seized tens of thousands of pounds of illegal fireworks.

It is illegal to sell, transport, or use fireworks that do not carry the “Safe and Sane” seal, as well as possess or use fireworks in a community where they are not permitted. If convicted, a violator could be fined up to $50,000, as well as be sent to jail for up to one year. Parents are liable for any damage or injuries caused by their children using fireworks.

Illegal fireworks include:
• Skyrockets
• Bottle rockets
• Roman candles
• Aerial shells
• Firecrackers
• Other fireworks that explode, go into the air, or move on the ground in an uncontrollable manner

“Fire conditions are elevated, and the 4th of July, along with the use of fireworks, only increases the risk for wildfires,” said Chief Joe Tyler, Cal-FIRE Director and Fire Chief. “It is critical that Californians be vigilant and consider leaving the fireworks to the professionals.”

Cal-FIRE is offering the public the following fireworks precautions:
• If using “Safe and Sane Fireworks, first check they are allowed in the area of use.
• Make sure the firework has the State Fire Marshal “Safe and Sane” seal on it.
• Have a bucket of water and garden hose available at firing site. During this drought it is recommend you use a bucket of gray/reused water to submerse your firework after its used to fully extinguish it.
• Read all instructions before use.
• Never alter, modify, or enhance fireworks – use only in the manner intended.
• Make sure fireworks have proper clearance from flammable materials including dry grass and brush.

Jeremy Couso
Jeremy Couso Publisher/Editor
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