Have a Safe and Sane 4th of July
San Andreas – Each year illegal and misused fireworks cause serious injuries and damaging wildfires. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) is taking a zero tolerance stand against anyone possessing, transporting or using illegal fireworks. The penalties for possessing, transporting or using illegal fireworks ranges from a misdemeanor up to felony charges plus the cost incurred for fire suppression.
Illegal fireworks in California are those that explode, leave the ground, or move about uncontrollably. Illegal fireworks include sky rockets, bottle rockets, roman candles. Use of any fireworks which causes an injury or fire may result in a felony citation or arrest.
Legal fireworks include a “Safe and Sane” logo from the California State Fire Marshal on the packaging but some illegal fireworks, especially those from out of the country, may have a forged logo on them. If you are not sure if your fireworks are legal, you can contact your nearest CAL FIRE facility or local fire station.
Use Safe and Sane fireworks responsibly, only where permitted, and never around dead or dying vegetation. Never allow children to use fireworks without adult supervision. Parents are liable for injuries or damages caused by their children’s use of fireworks. Check with your local fire department to see if Safe and Sane fireworks are legal to use in your area.
Possessing or using any type of fireworks is illegal in the following areas:
- Tuolumne County - all areas including the City of Sonora;
- Calaveras County - Ebbetts Pass Fire District
- All federal lands in Tuolumne and Calaveras Counties, including the Stanislaus National Forest; and along any State highway rights-of-ways.
Fines for violations start at $240.00 per count, per person. Enforcement actions will range from misdemeanor citations to felony custody arrests.
Because our area is so dry and vulnerable to fire, CAL FIRE’s Tuolumne-Calaveras Unit Chief Brian Kirk suggests “Rather than using your own fireworks, plan on attending some of the excellent professionally-produced public firework displays in our area.”
For more firework safety tips visit www.fire.ca.gov click on communications, then fact sheets.