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Friday, July 1, 2011

CAL FIRE Press Release: CAL FIRE Urges Firework Safety This Fourth of July

CAL FIRE Urges Firework Safety This Fourth of July

Sacramento – With the 4th of July celebrations less than a week away, CAL FIRE is warning the public of the state’s zero tolerance regarding the use or sale of illegal fireworks. CAL FIRE is working closely with local law enforcement and firefighting agencies to seize illegal fireworks and prosecute those found in possession of them.

“Illegal fireworks pose a major danger to Californian’s safety,” said Acting State Fire Marshal Tonya Hoover. “We will not tolerate the use or sale of illegal fireworks here in California.”

Under California law, illegal fireworks include sky rockets, bottle rockets, roman candles, aerial shells, firecrackers and other miscellaneous types that explode, go up in the air, or move about the ground in an uncontrollable fashion. Those convicted could be fined up to $50,000 and sent to prison or jail for up to one year.

“If fireworks are used illegally or in an unsafe manner they pose a very serious threat to our communities," said Chief Ken Pimlott, director of CAL FIRE. "The results can be devastating and take critical resources away from other emergencies."

In 286 communities in the state, “safe and sane” fireworks are permitted. However, State fire officials want to remind those who choose to purchase legal fireworks this year to make sure they purchase only those with the “Safe and Sane” State Fire Marshal seal they are only used in the community where they are purchased. It is illegal to sell, transport, posses, or use any fireworks in areas where they are not allowed. Even “Safe and Sane” fireworks can be dangerous if used unsafely.

Fireworks Guidelines
  1. Residents and visitors should practice caution and safety with the following:
  2. Check that fireworks are allowed in the area of use
  3. Make sure the firework has the State Fire Marshal “safe and sane” seal
  4. Purchase only from legitimate organizations authorized to sell
  5. Have a bucket of water, sand or garden hose available at firing site
  6. Read all instructions before use
  7. Dispose of used fireworks in water
  8. Never alter, modify or enhance fireworks
  9. Make sure fireworks have proper clearance from flammable materials including dry grass and brush.

Remember that fireworks are not toys; they should always be used in a safe manner. CAL FIRE wants everyone to have a safe 4th of July holiday.

For more information about safe fireworks use, visit the CAL FIRE Web site at
Daniel Berlant
(916) 651-FIRE (3473)
Julie Hutchinson
(951) 377-8380.

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****REMINDER**** Every fire has the ability to be catastrophic. The wildland fire management environment has profoundly changed. Growing numbers of communities, across the nation, are experiencing longer fire seasons; more frequent, bigger, and more severe, fires are a real threat. Be careful with all campfires and equipment.
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