Fireworks caused over $25 million in property loss last year, fine for illegal use is up to $50,000
June 28, 2023 (San Diego) – Beginning at noon tomorrow, June 28, “Safe and Sane” Fireworks will go on sale in many communities across California and in Mexico.But in San Diego County, all consumer fireworks are illegal to own or use, except those in licensed professional fireworks shows. That includes sparklers,firecrackers, poppers and all others.
The Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) is reminding everyone to do their part to have a safe holiday and help prevent fires and injuries caused by fireworks.
As we gather to celebrate the Fourth of July, make sure your festivities are both enjoyable and safe.
Since 2013, in the State of California, there have been over 20,000 acres burned with fireworks as the ignition source, causing $59.3 million in property loss, with $25.7 million of that total occurring in 2022 alone.
“Our Arson and Bomb Investigators and Law Enforcement Officers have been busy assisting with numerous illegal fireworks enforcement operations, and members of the Arson and Bomb Unit have successfully seized over 245,000 pounds of illegal fireworks from all over California since July 2022,” said Acting State Fire Marshal Daniel Berlant. “We have a zero tolerance toward the use, transportation, and possession of illegal fireworks. Even ‘Safe and Sane’ fireworks are banned in many communities and bring large fines for their illegal use.”
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 including San Diego County. 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. If convicted, a violator could be fined up to $50,000, as well as be sent to jail for up to one year.
Illegal fireworks statewide include:
• Bottle rockets
• Roman candles
• Aerial shells
• Other fireworks that explode, go into the air, or move on the ground in an uncontrollable manner.
“The wet winter has been an anomaly, but any belief of a less intense fire year as a result of the precipitation is a mistake,” said Chief Joe Tyler, CAL FIRE Director and Fire Chief. “As the weather conditions continue to get warmer and drier, the vegetation - including grass, brush, and timber - will become more susceptible to burning. Make no mistake, fire conditions are elevated, as seen in the increase of wildland fires over the past few weeks, and the 4th of July, along with the use of fireworks, will contribute to the increased risk for wildfires.”
To learn more about fireworks safety, visit fireworkssafetyca.org /.