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'It's Common Sense, Mostly': Eyes Are On Illegal Fireworks Use As Sacramento Vendors, Fire Agencies Prepare For 4th Of July Weekend

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) -- Ahead of the Fourth of July weekend, Sacramento fire agencies will be stepping up enforcement on preventing illegal fireworks use.

Raphael Garcia is part of a Knights of Columbus group selling legal "safe-and-sane" fireworks in West Sacramento. Since the start of the pandemic, the stands have been selling out their stocks each year. Garcia doesn't see that changing in 2022.

"I'm hoping the cancellation of the Cal Expo fireworks and gas prices being so high, we'll sell a lot," he explained.

But he and his team are just hoping everyone plays it safe this year, utilizing safe practices with the legal fireworks they sell.

"We can only make so many suggestions," says Garcia. "Hopefully everybody stays safe. Keep it safe. Watch where you're lighting them off. Hopefully, no grass fires this year."

In the city of Sacramento, Fire Marshal Jason Lee is preparing to patrol.

"We probably have 8-10 patrol vehicles for both the fire department and city code enforcement," he says. "What we'll do is issue citations from a visual verification that a firework has left the ground or is being used on a property."

The use of illegal fireworks can carry a $1,000 fine for the first offense. If you get fined twice in one year, there is an additional fine of $2,500 which can double to $5,000 for each offense after that.

"We monitor the complaints two ways," Lee says. "There's a reporting phone number called 808Fire. Also, we use a third-party app called MailIn. Anyone can download the app and then report fireworks directly to us."

For those using legal fireworks, Lee advises to not throw recently used fireworks in the trash immediately.

"Have safety measures in place, have a bucket of water or a hose nearby," he says.

Meanwhile, Garcia is just hoping everyone stays smart this holiday weekend.

"Let's hope they do the right thing. It's common sense mostly," he said.

There is new Sacramento enforcement starting Tuesday, June 28 and runs through Monday, July 4. After 11:00 p.m., all fireworks use, including the use of legal safe-and-sane fireworks is prohibited and subject to enforcement.

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