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Fireworks bring wildfire and injury risks as 4th of July nears

Starting June 28, people can purchase fireworks until the Fourth of July. Temperatures are rising and along with a lack of rain, the risk of starting a fire with fireworks is higher than usual.

Posted: Jun 26, 2020 6:52 PM

HAMILTON CITY, Calif. - Starting June 28, people can purchase fireworks until the Fourth of July. Temperatures are rising and the area is dry, so the risk of starting a fire with fireworks is higher than usual.

The National Safety Council reported that fireworks spark more than 18,000 fires every year.

"With this time of year already things are dry and ready to ignite," said Chico Divison Fire Chief Wes Metroka. "If you light a fire with a firework, you're going to be responsible for that. What may seem like a simple harmless event of lighting a firework, can turn into something catastrophic and expensive."

Fireworks are illegal throughout Butte County, however, places like Gridley and Oroville allow for limited use. Glenn County allows for the purchase and use of firework.

An Orlando Health Survey says despite the coronavirus pandemic shutting down public displays, two out of every five Americans will put on a show themselves.

Officials warn of the dangers that come along with lighting the fuse.

"Fireworks go off at a level over 125 decibels usually and that's enough to cause some permanent damage," said Audioprosthologist Joe Bartlett.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission says more than 10,000 people went to the emergency room last year with firework-related injuries and 12 people died.

"A couple of years ago I responded to a call of a large explosion sound in a residential neighborhood," recalls Chico Firefighter Raul J. Gonzalez. "He had set off an M-80 illegal firework. The device went off near his hand, it caused significant damage and ultimately the young man lost half of his hand."

Counties in the area cannot sell fireworks past the Fourth of July.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 292560

Reported Deaths: 6718
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Chico
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