Fireworks In The Mother Lode Could Be Costly
San Andreas, CA – It may sound like a blast lighting off fireworks, but it is not worth the bucks it will cost if caught with illegal fireworks in the Mother Lode.
CAL Fire Tuolumne-Calaveras Unit reminds the rules vary within Calaveras and Tuolumne County. For the latter, all fireworks are prohibited, including safe and sane ones. CAL Fire spokesperson Emily Kilgore adds, “That includes just possession of fireworks. So, even if you purchased them legally and are traveling through Tuolumne County you would still be outside the law.”
In Calaveras County, Safe and Sane fireworks are allowed except in the Ebbetts Pass Fire Protection District. Kilgore warns purchasers that even if you buy Safe and Sane fireworks in Calaveras County, you cannot possess, transport, or discharge them in Tuolumne County. The same is true for “dangerous” fireworks, which are deemed illegal in California. Dangerous fireworks as described by Kilgore include, “Fireworks, firecrackers, skyrockets, rockets, devices which employ combustible or explosive material and rise in the air, roman candles, devices which discharge balls of fire, sparklers greater than ten inches in length or 1/4 inch in diameter.”
Igniting any of these firecrackers could be costly if a citation is issued and Kilgore says that is likely along with the fireworks being seized. She details, “Penalties can exceed a thousand dollars per occurrence and any cost for civil liabilities for damages that may be caused by a fire created by the fireworks.”
Another option, says Kilgore, is to just turn over illegal fireworks at any fire station without any penalties or questions asked.
Safe and Sane fireworks can typically be identified by this label:
CAL Fire offers these safety tips for using them:
- Always read directions.
- Always have an adult present.
- Use fireworks outdoors only.
- Never use near dry grass or other flammable materials.
- Light one at a time.
- Keep a safe distance.
- Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
- Never experiment with fireworks.
- Have a bucket of water and a hose handy.
- Never attempt to re-light or “fix” fireworks.
- Do not wear loose-fitting clothing.
- Never carry fireworks in your pockets.
- Fireworks are not toys.
- Use only State Fire Marshal approved fireworks.