For Immediate ReleaseJune 22, 2018
Wildfire threat is high, so have fun in less combustible ways on Fourth of July
San Rafael, CA – It’s heating up in Marin County, and awareness of wildfire threat needs to go up accordingly. That’s especially true as we approach the Fourth of July, a time when some are tempted to use fireworks. If you hadn’t heard, all forms of fireworks are illegal in Marin.
A year ago on the Independence Day, there were 12 emergency calls related to fireworks in unincorporated Marin but luckily no wildfires sparked by them.
Marin County Parks is especially diligent about promoting the rules at County parks and open spaces. The Marin County Code of Ordinances (Title 10 Parks, Section 10.08.020 fireworks) states: “No person shall possess, bring onto, set off or otherwise cause to explode within parks any firecrackers, skyrockets or other fireworks or explosives.”
Folks who would like to see legal fireworks are encouraged to attend the Marin County Fair, which offers a fireworks display each night June 30 through July 4 at the Marin County Fairgrounds in San Rafael. The fair receives a permit from the City of San Rafael to conduct the nightly show.
Upton Beach, a four-acre stretch of Pacific beach just north of Stinson Beach, has been a popular site for Independence Day fun and, unfortunately, illegal use of fireworks. The same situation has been experienced annually at Brighton Beach in Bolinas. Occasionally the people using fireworks are Marin residents, but often they are visitors who don’t know about the local ordinance prohibiting fireworks. Rental agencies are urged to notify renters about the fireworks law, and the Sheriff’s Office will have extra deputies on duty for enforcement over the holiday.
All illegal activities and behavior issues witnessed by parks and open space rangers will be reported to appropriate law enforcement or fire agencies, and enforcement will take place whether or not an incident takes place on private property or at a County government facility. A misdemeanor offense of using or possessing fireworks in Marin could cost an offender $410 – that’s $100 for the base fine plus $310 in penalty assessments and surcharges.
Despite the high fire danger during the hot and dry season, some people don’t understand or respect the associated risks such as devastating skin burns, severe injuries to eyes, ears and extremities, structure fires, wildland fires and even death. According to the National Fire Protection Association, thousands of people, most often children and teens, are injured while using consumer fireworks every Fourth of July. The advice from the County of Marin? Don’t become one of those statistics.
Graham GronemanBattalion ChiefMarin County Fire Department
33 Castle Rock Ave.Woodacre, CA 94973(415) 717-1505Email: Graham GronemanMarin County Fire website