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Celebrating this Fourth of July with fireworks across the Central Coast

Know the guidelines for a "Safe and Sane" holiday
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Posted at 5:41 PM, Jun 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-02 17:25:10-04

Fireworks are a Fourth of July tradition, lighting up the sky once the sun goes down. As the holiday approaches, police and fire departments are sharing reminders about what is and is not legal this Independence Day.

In the middle of an unusually dry summer, fire danger is high. Fire officials in Lompoc are citing a zero-tolerance policy towards illegal fireworks, an attitude reflected by law enforcement in the area.

As you plan your celebration, see which cities are hosting shows, how and when you can purchase fireworks, and the guidelines for at-home fireworks throughout San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties.

For additional information, consult local guidelines.

"Safe and Sane" fireworks

“Safe and Sane” is the term for the type of fireworks that can be sold for personal and home fireworks displays throughout California. These legal fireworks will always bear the State Fire Marshal’s seal, the Five Cities Fire Authority says.

“Safe and Sane” fireworks don’t come without precautions.

“Even Safe and Sane fireworks can cause a fire or injury,” says Fire Chief Steve Lieberman, Five Cities Fire Authority.

Each year, there are nearly 20,000 fires caused by fireworks across the country and thousands of related injuries, Lieberman says.

Where "Safe and Sane" fireworks are allowed

“Safe and Sane” fireworks aren’t legal in all cases. While some cities allow them when used within stated guidelines, other cities and unincorporated areas don’t allow any fireworks.

"Safe and Sane" fireworks are allowed to be ignited safely on private property. It's illegal for minors to light them.

“Safe and Sane” fireworks are allowed in Lompoc, Santa Maria, Guadalupe, San Miguel, Templeton, Arroyo Grande, Grover Beach, and Oceano within specified legal hours. They are also allowed only on private property in Morro Bay. “Safe and Sane” fireworks are illegal after 10 p.m.

Fireworks are illegal in all other Central Coast communities, including the cities of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo.

Rules and fines

In Lompoc, police told KSBY that they are cracking down on illegal fireworks. They are issuing citations for illegal use that range from $300 to $1,000.

In Cayucos, CAL FIRE and the Sheriff’s Office are working together to combat illegal fireworks. They are fining anyone possessing or using illegal fireworks at least $2,000. Besides the legal fireworks show at the pier, all fireworks (including “Safe and Sane” fireworks) are illegal.

In Morro Bay, possession and/or use of illegal fireworks is a misdemeanor. Fines range from $500 to $1,000.

Fireworks booths

In Lompoc, there are two booths where “Safe and Sane” fireworks will be available starting Monday, June 28. One will be in the Planet Fitness parking lot (1009 N. H St.) and the other will be in the Walmart parking lot (701 W. Central Ave.) The fireworks booths will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

In Santa Maria, there are 23 locations where “Safe and Sane” fireworks will be available. The booths will be selling fireworks from June 28 to July 4.

The San Miguel Firefighters Association will be hosting a fireworks booth at the fire station. It will be open from June 30 to July 4, and volunteers will be selling "Safe and Sane" fireworks from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

In the City of Arroyo Grande, six organizations have permits to sell “Safe and Sane” fireworks this year.

Fireworks shows

Pismo Beach will be bringing back its fireworks show this year. In past years, the show has been part of one of the busiest weekends in the city, drawing crowds of 80,000 to 100,000 people. Tickets to seats on the pier are available for purchase and cost $75.

The City of Santa Barbara will be hosting a fireworks show on July 4. The show will take place at Stearn’s Wharf, and visitors can see the show from the waterfront along West Beach.

The City of Lompoc is hosting a show at Ryon Memorial Park, at 800 W. Ocean Ave. Gates open at 5 p.m., and the fireworks will begin at dusk. Tickets are on sale through the Lompoc Department of Parks and Recreation.

Cayucos has announced that it will be having a small fireworks show for the Fourth of July. It will take place at the pier and will be shorter than past shows.

Solvang, which has hosted fireworks shows in the past, has canceled its display for the second year in a row, citing uncertainty related to finances and managing large crowds.