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Illegal fireworks sparks over a dozen vegetation fires during Fourth of July weekend

Firefighters were busy in Shasta County over the holiday weekend.

Posted: Jul 7, 2020 7:00 PM
Updated: Jul 7, 2020 7:03 PM

REDDING, Calif. - Firefighters were busy in Shasta County over the holiday weekend.

Illegal fireworks started more than a dozen vegetation fires, the largest burning eight acres.

“The City of Redding had over 113 calls of services for this weekend, 41 of which were fireworks complaints,” said Ron Krznarich, a fire investigator for the city.

“Out of that, we had 14 vegetation fires in the city for a total of eight acres.”

The fire department cited 21 people and seized some 47 pounds of illegal fireworks.

“There's a lot of dangers with fireworks, obviously injuries, but the biggest things are fire,” said Krznarich.

“Just in the area, we're in, with the Carr Fire that happened and all the fires that are in our area.”

Action News Now spoke to several people who say that the fireworks add to danger in the area.

“I don't think the topography in this area is conducive,” said Chris Kutraes, a longtime resident of Redding. “We have a lot of ground that can be rural and suburban.”

The Redding Fire Department says the fire that sparked along Quartz Hill Road was started by an aerial firework. That area was just one of several that ignited in the area.

Firefighters say responding to illegal fireworks activity puts a strain on resources and can take away from other emergencies.

“People lighting fireworks is putting people at risk is what's happening,” said Krznarich.

“It's dry, very dry conditions, very dangerous conditions, so why go around lighting fires,” said Bernie Colia of Redding.

Fireworks are illegal in Shasta County, even if it's deemed safe and sane. Firefighters say, if you're caught igniting fireworks it's a misdemeanor citation and you could pay a heavy fine.

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Gusty winds, hot temperatures, and dry conditions are prompting a Red Flag Warning for high fire danger today. Gusty winds will keep fire danger high through the end of the week, but a welcome cooling trend is on the way in your extended forecast.
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