BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Fire danger is high in California during the Fourth of July holiday. Cal Fire is sharing some tips to keep you safe while using fireworks.
"Fireworks are illegal in certain areas of California because each year serious injuries and millions of dollars in property loss occur from wildfires sparked by fireworks. Large grass crops and abundant vegetation, due to a wet winter, increase the threat for devastating wildfires throughout all of California," according to Cal Fire
California has zero tolerance for the sale and use of illegal fireworks. Illegal fireworks include:
Sky rockets, Bottle rockets, Roman candles, Aerial shells, Firecrackers, and other fireworks 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 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 be sent to jail for up to one year.
Fireworks Safety Tips:
Use only State Fire Marshal approved fireworks
Local ordinances should be verified before purchasing and/or using fireworks
Always read directions
Always have an adult present
Only use fireworks outdoors
Never use near dry grass or other flammable materials
Light one at a time
Have a bucket of water and a hose nearby
Fireworks Injury Prevention Safety Tips:
Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse
Back up several feet immediately after lighting fireworks
Never point or throw fireworks at another person
Never experiment with fireworks
Never attempt to re-light or “fix” fireworks
Do not wear loose fitting clothing while lighting fireworks
Never carry fireworks in your pockets
Fireworks are not toys
Bakersfield Fire Department has a temporary “HOTLINE” to report illegal fireworks on July 3 and 4.
It's important to note that in the city of Bakersfield, some "safe and sane" certified fireworks, like Piccolo Petes and Ground Bloom Flowers, are illegal within city limits. If you are caught lighting illegal fireworks or hosting a party with them, you will be cited for a $1,000 fine.
For those covered by Kern County Fire, their "HOTLINE" will also run on July 3 and 4, and their number is 1-877-FIRETIP (1-877-347-3847). If you want to report illegal fireworks any other day of the year, call 911. Illegal firework citations begin at $1,500 in the county. More information on the county's practices here.
KCFD also reminds the public that personal fireworks are completely banned in the mountain communities.