Fireworks safety on officials’ minds

By Aaron West, The Triplicate June 19, 2014 01:47 pm

Illegal fireworks rivaling the official Fourth of July show rocket above Crescent City in 2010. Del Norte Triplicate / Bryant Anderson
Illegal fireworks rivaling the official Fourth of July show rocket above Crescent City in 2010. Del Norte Triplicate / Bryant Anderson
Firework safety school begins next week, and everyone’s invited.

With an estimated 30,000 people coming into town for the city’s Fourth of July celebration, fireworks safety is on city officials’ minds, and after a brief discussion at Monday’s city council meeting, an educational campaign has been planned to address concerns.

The campaign, which is similar to last year’s educational efforts and is being planned by the Crescent City Police Department, Fire Department and the Fire Protection District, includes safety fliers posted around town, a weekly radio discussion with Police Chief Doug Plack, advertisements in the Triplicate and on the radio and, for those who don’t pay attention, a hefty fine of $1,000 or more.

“We have big issues in this community with illegal fireworks,” City Manager Gene Palazzo said. “They come in by the truckload and they get sold.”

“Chatting with the Chief,” the radio discussion that features Plack, will air Monday mornings from 8:40 until 9 on KPOD 97.9 in the three weeks leading up to the Fourth. 

During the program Plack will go over safety advice as well as the ordinance the city implemented in 2012 outlines fines given to folks who use illegal fireworks. Those include any type of firework that doesn’t feature the red-and-white “Safe and Sane” decal on its packaging, a statewide classification that’s given to fireworks such as sparklers and smoke balls that don’t fly or explode. 

The illegal ones are the ones that, according to the city ordinance, will land people caught using them with a $1,000 fine for the first violation, $2,000 for the second and $3,000 for the third. Illegal fireworks include firecrackers, M-80s, M-100s, bottle rockets and Roman candles.

They’re very dangerous,” Palazzo said. “Especially this year — we have a very dry season. They can cause a lot of damage to property.”

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