As we approach the Fourth of July, fireworks are posing a significant fire danger due to increasingly dry conditions.
San Luis Obispo City Officials say they haven’t received many calls about illegal fireworks yet.
“So far, so good. We haven’t been seeing a lot of illegal fireworks. We certainly anticipate this weekend we will be,” said San Luis Obispo County Parks Director Nick Franco.
Local officials say last year, when people celebrated the Fourth of July from home, there were few, but still some calls about illegal fireworks. But now with most COVID restrictions lifted, they’re keeping a close eye on people coming from out of town.
“The population of this area is going to increase tremendously. So those out of towners might be bringing those illegal fireworks with them. So that’s something that we are concerned about and we will be watching out for,” Adan Orozco, CAL FIRE SLO Public Information Officer, said.
According to the CAL FIRE SLO website, an average of 18,000 firese each year are caused by fireworks.
“The big aerial fireworks, bottle rockets, mortars, things like that, they can travel a great distance. And they can start multiple fires in one shot either to the grass or to homes,” said Orozco.
They’re especially dangerous with the dryer than normal weather conditions. Even “safe and sane” fireworks can cause a fire or an injury.
“This is one of the driest times we’ve ever seen. So the relative humidity that are out there are really, really low. It is just very very dangerous right now for any fires to occur,” said Franco.
The usage of illegal fireworks can carry a fine up to $2,000. If you see illegal fireworks, Orozco says to not take matters into your own hands.
“Never approach someone and try to do something about it yourself,” Orozco said.
Instead, call the Sheriff’s Department non-emergency phone line to report illegal fireworks. If there is potential fire danger, local officials also recommend staying on concrete and away from dry bush.
For more firework safety tips, visit readyforwildfire.org.