Cal Fire warns of fires, injuries caused by fireworks
SACRAMENTO — With Independence Day just days away, Cal Fire is asking people to do their part to prevent fires and injuries caused by fireworks.
Two out of five fires on July 4 each year are caused by fireworks, more than any other cause of fires. The majority of these incidents are related to either the use of illegal fireworks, or incorrectly using legal fireworks.
“Understanding the dangers associated with the use of illegal fireworks, or misuse of legal fireworks, is critical to keep everyone safe during the holiday,” said Chief Ken Pimlott, Cal Fire director.
“Any person who starts a fire from fireworks — even accidentally — can be held liable for the costs of fighting the fire and any resulting property damage.”
There are also legal ramifications when it comes to certain types of fireworks. Possession of illegal fireworks such as sky rockets, bottle rockets, Roman candles, aerial shells, firecrackers and other types that explode, go into the air, or move on the ground in an uncontrollable manner can potentially result in a fine of up to $50,000 as well as prison time or jail for up to one year.
“Safe and sane” fireworks are allowed in Lodi — but only on July 4. State fire officials urge everyone to carefully follow instructions to avoid accidents and injuries.
“Please celebrate the holiday safely,” State Fire Marshal Dennis Mathisen said. “If you choose to use fireworks, make sure they are the ‘safe and sane’ and not the illegal variety. Remember, if it flies in the air or explodes, it is illegal.”
Here are a few tips to help you be safe this July 4:
• Buy only “safe and sane,” legal fireworks.
• Have a bucket of water and a hose handy in case of a fire.
• Always read directions and have an adult present. Parents are liable for any damage or injuries caused by their children using fireworks.
• Use fireworks outdoors only.
• Use common sense and keep a safe distance.
• Never attempt to re-light or “fix” fireworks.
• Sparklers can reach temperatures of more than 1,000 degrees; don’t give them to children.
Cal Fire has already responded to more than 2,135 wildland fires in 2017.
For more information or tips on preparing for wildfires, visit