Crime - Sacto 911

Firefighters knock down 30-acre grass fire near Rancho Cordova

Firefighters made quick work Friday knocking down a 30-acre grass fire east of Rancho Cordova, Cal Fire said, but it's a reminder of the dangers heading into the July 4 holiday.

No one was injured in the fire and no buildings were damaged The fire took place in cow fields along Grant Line and White Rock roads, according to Cal Fire spokesperson Brice Bennett.

The fire was 40 percent contained at just after 5 p.m., and Bennett said the fire's forward momentum was stopped and that crews would be on scene taking care of hot spots through the evening.

The Sacramento Metro Fire Department, as well as fire crews from the U.S. Forest Service and the cities of Folsom and Ione helped to put out the blaze. The cause is under investigation.

A red flag warning is in effect through Sunday, and “hot temperatures and dry conditions could lead to critical fire conditions,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Adamis Del Valle.

Along with the hot weather, fireworks for the holiday pose another threat.

On Thursday, the Greater Sacramento Area Fireworks Task Force reminded residents against illegal fireworks, urging anyone buying fireworks to make sure that they have the "Safe and Sane" seal – otherwise, they are illegal in the state of California.

In addition to spreading information about illegal fireworks, in the days leading up to July 4th, members of the task force will be conducting enforcement patrols around Sacramento and confiscating illegal fireworks.

The only legal fireworks for sale in Sacramento County are sold by suppliers TNT, Phantom, and Discount Fireworks, and they have a "Safe and Sane" seal from the Office of the California State Fire Marshal. It's also illegal to set off Safe and Sane fireworks in adjacent counties where all fireworks are banned.

More helpful tips

But using "safe and sane" fireworks isn't the only safety tip needed, as many of the fireworks injuries and accidents that occur are attributed to legal and readily-available products. Both the city of Sacramento and the National Safety Council offer tips on how to keep the whole family safe when using fireworks at home, which are amended below.

  • Read and follow all fireworks label directions.

  • Never use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol.

  • Light only one firework at a time - always outdoors - in a clear and open space. Never ignite devices in a container, on a ladder, trash can or other elevated surface, or on a wooden fence.

  • Always maintain a safe distance from people, structures, vehicles, and any flammable materials.

  • Keep a bucket of water and a garden hose or fire extinguisher nearby in order to fully extinguish a malfunctioning firework, if needed.

  • Never attempt to re-light or fix a “dud” firework. Properly dispose of fireworks. Douse spent fireworks with water. Soak unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding. Do not use fireworks purchased in years past.

  • Children should be closely supervised around fireworks. Never allow children to handle or ignite fireworks. According to the National Fire Protection Association, the end of a sparkler burns at more than 1,200 degrees! Glow sticks are a safer alternative. Older children should use fireworks only under close adult supervision.

  • Animals tend to become frightened by the lights and sounds of fireworks. Keep animals in a safe and secure location, away from firework activity. The SPCA offers several tips on how to keep pets safe and secure during the holiday celebrations.

  • Always have a plan to get everyone away from the area if a fire should occur and make sure everyone is aware of the plan. Also, designate someone responsible for phoning 911 in case of an emergency.

Ultimately, most of the safety groups and local fire departments recommend attending public fireworks displays in order to stay safe and to avoid any unintended non-compliance with local, state and federal laws. Fortunately, there are lots of Fourth of July events in the area.

If you do decide to put on your own display and you're wondering which fireworks offer the best show for your dough, The Bee's summer interns recently participated in our annual fireworks test and review.

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