Jun 15, 2010 6:55 PM
Fourth of July fireworks are fun to watch, but can prove very dangerous in a matter of minutes. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, more than 30,000 fires are started by fireworks every year. Chico firefighters want to remind the public that fireworks are illegal in Chico and most of Butte County. "Just a small spark in the dry grass that we have here just easily ignites a fire, and if there is a breeze, that fire takes right off and can get very big very fast," Fire Inspector Rick Doane from the Chico Fire Department stated.
A recent report by the National Council on fireworks safety shows fireworks caused some sort of injury to nearly 7,000 people last year. "Not only do they post the fire hazard as you saw here but they also pose a safety hazard for burn injuries, eye injuries and we just don't allow them here in our jurisdiction."
Fire inspector Doane says every year firefighters respond to calls of illegal fireworks, and those caught using them will face hefty fines.
Big firework shows are making a comeback at Lake Oroville and in places like Chico and Redding this year. Many were cancelled after the devastating wildfires of 2008. Firefighters say they'll be ready because conditions are ripe. "We are beginning to see the grass is drying out, fire agencies throughout the county are beginning to respond to grass fires and with summer coming and wild land season here, we just really need to do whatever we can to prevent the fires from happening."
Safe and sane fireworks are legal in Gridley and Oroville.