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Pleasant Hill To Host Official 4th Of July Show In Hopes Of Preventing Deadly Illegal Fireworks

PLEASANT HILL (KPIX) - Contra Costa County is experiencing first hand how dangerous this fire season is. Since last Friday, firefighters have battled 35 vegetation fires and some were sparked by fireworks.

In Pleasant Hill, the city is planning to go through with their Fourth of July fireworks show. The fireworks will be launched from College Park High School. Contra Costa Fire says it hopes an officially sanctioned show will deter people from lighting up illegal fireworks that can be both devastating and deadly.

Fire officials released drone footage of a blaze in Antioch. It destroyed 8 apartments and displaced 40 residents. Investigators discovered it was caused by a man throwing a M-100 firework into a field behind the complex.

Steve Hill, a spokesperson with Contra Costa Fire says, "Fireworks regardless of type burn at very high temperatures. So they are almost instantly start a fire guaranteed."

At the time of the fire, temperatures were in the high 90s with wind gusts up to 20 miles per hour. With the dry fuels on almost every hillside in the county, this blaze could've been much worse.

Firefighters can only hope people will realize how dangerous it is and stick to the fireworks that have been approved.

"This year of all years, our inspectors are looking doubly hard at the conditions related to any request for officially sanctioned fireworks shows to ensure they are absolutely safe before they are approved," Hill explains.

Pleasant Hill's Fourth of July Commission is working with ConFire to make sure its fireworks show doesn't pose a fire threat.

"We kinda know it's a safe location. There are no homes, there's not a lot of dry areas or fields. It's parking lots and different thing," says Chris Tipton, the President of the commission.

ConFire says it is currently looking at three applications for Fourth of July fireworks. For communities like Pleasant Hill, there is a lot to celebrate this Independence Day.

"I think every week, it feels like we're getting back to normal. Everyday almost. So this is another step forward," Tipton adds.

People will not be allowed to gather at College Park High School to view the fireworks due to COVID-19 restrictions, but the fireworks should be high enough to see from different locations in the community. If the weather conditions do not cooperate, there is a chance the fireworks show will be canceled and it will be held at a later date.

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