Five fireworks stands have popped up since last week in Crescent City to help locals celebrate Independence Day — and are expected to be open during California’s sales period for “safe and sane” fireworks, June 28 to July 6.
However, the diminished rainfall level this year has caused the area’s drought levels to rise up, according to Crescent City Fire & Rescue Chief Bill Gillespie, making it more important than ever to be careful with fire.
“With the winds we had last week and temperatures, the area is definitely drying out,” Gillespie said. “A lot of the grasses are still semi green, but they’re curing rapidly. With it with any wind, we were already considered in drought condition, so there is a very real fire danger this year.”
With that in mind, Gillespie had several safety tips for residents going into next weekend’s 4th of July celebrations.
“I like to remind folks in California that only ‘safe and sane’ fireworks are approved for sale and use, purchased through fireworks booths, such as by non-profits and other groups,” Gillespie said. “Anything that flies up in air and goes ‘boom’ isn’t.”
He added that parachute flares and signal flares, such as those found on boats, are not fireworks. They can easily go off course and land on top of a building somewhere, Gillespie said.
For safety measures, Gillespie recommended to always have adult supervision when lighting off fireworks and to make sure to have good clearance from buildings and tall grass.
“Don’t hold fireworks in the hand that have big showers or flame. They can burn anywhere between 1,200 to 2,000 degrees and cause third-degree burns if it gets too close,” he said.
He also said not to throw fireworks, such as those called “desert flowers,” that can spin out of control and land on roofs.
Finally, Gillespie said when you’re done lighting off fireworks, soak the remains in a bucket of water.
“A couple times people have thrown them into the trash or Dumpsters and we end up responding to a Dumpster on fire,” Gillespie said. “You don’t want to put them in the trash in the garage and then the house catch fire.”
He said to remember to extinguish campfires on the beach before leaving, as well.
“When you’ve gone home, we’re still out putting out fires on the beach well into the night,” Gillespie said. “Enjoy the beach, enjoy the 4th, but be safe.”
The following “safe and sane” fireworks locations have permits within Crescent City limits:
• 421 U.S. Highway 101
• 835 Northcrest Drive
• 1124 3rd St.
• 660 L St.
• 900 East Washington Blvd.
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