It’ll be a hot, dry Fourth of July, and considering California’s fourth year of drought, Sacramento-area fire authorities are urging residents to exercise even more caution this weekend when setting off fireworks.
Though fireworks are allowed in most areas, drought conditions increase the risk of fire.
“We discourage behavior that’s not in line with a safe environment, not just during the drought but at any time,” said Sacramento Fire Department spokesman Roberto Padilla.
Residents should set off fireworks only in open spaces surrounded by concrete, pavement or asphalt.
Fireworks should be properly extinguished to avoid accidentally igniting anything flammable. Padilla advised residents to soak fireworks in water in a metal bucket for at least 24 hours before discarding them.
“Do not dispose immediately in a garbage can next to a home,” he said. “It has the potential to catch fire.”
In general, children should not be allowed to play with or handle fireworks.
“Parents can be liable if something happens (when) their child is lighting fireworks,” Padilla said.
Most cities have issued “zero tolerance” policies for using illegal fireworks, which can include those that explode, leave the ground or send sparks more than 12 feet high.
Only “safe and sane” fireworks, which are approved by the state fire marshal, are legally available for purchase at local fireworks stands.
Where you can – or can’t – light fireworks
There are 296 California cities and counties that allow residents to use fireworks. Here’s a partial list of Sacramento-area cities and counties where it’s OK (or not) to light fireworks outdoors. For the complete list compiled by the California Fireworks Safety & Education Program, go to ca-fireworks.com.
Citrus Heights: allowed until 11:59 p.m. July 5
Davis: not allowed
Elk Grove: allowed until 10 p.m. July 5
Folsom, Rocklin, Roseville, Sacramento: allowed until 11:59 p.m. July 4
Rancho Cordova: allowed until 10 p.m. July 4
West Sacramento: allowed until 10 p.m. July 6
Sacramento County (unincorporated): allowed until 10 p.m. July 5
El Dorado County: not allowed
Yolo and Placer counties: allowed
Source: Bee research