Last year, on the day after Independence Day, an Antioch resident was severely injured handling a supposedly ‘safe and sane’ firework. Also last year, illegal fireworks sparked preventable vegetation fires that threatened lives and structures and strained emergency responder resources, according to the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District (ConFire).
Such events have prompted local fire and law enforcement officials to remind residents and visitors ahead of Independence Day this Thursday that fireworks are illegal everywhere in the county.
The county is a ‘fireworks-free zone’ where the sale, possession or use of fireworks of all types and sizes, including Safe & Sane fireworks, are banned, not just in unincorporated areas but also the cities. Penalties could range from $500 to $5,000 and even imprisonment depending on the amount and types possessed, the county said.
In Richmond, police released a brief video reminder to residents, adding that along with fireworks, it is obviously illegal and dangerous to shoot off guns in celebration.
Residents are encouraged to instead attend official, professionally organized fireworks displays, such as the one planned for July 3 near the Richmond Bay coast, rather than set off their own.
“There are no safe fireworks and, in addition to the potential for grievous bodily harm posed by these illegal devices, the risk of causing catastrophic wildfires during this time of extremely high fire danger is great,” ConFire said.