Fireworks, Dry Grass Make For Bad Combo

Matt Bigler
July 02, 2020 - 2:00 am

    Related: Oakland To Increase Enforcement Of Illegal Fireworks

    Lighting off illegal fireworks is even more dangerous this Fourth of July.

    It's because of the shelter-in-place and especially dry conditions outdoors. Bone dry grass and fireworks tend not to be a good combination.

    To demonstrate this, firefighters in Contra Costa County lit four simple sparklers and placed them in a gutter lined with straw, and in almost no time at all.

    "As you can see, the fire is already coming out of the eves of the structure, so it’s well involved in the attic. We’re at three minutes right now," Fire Marshall Chris Bachman said.

    Fines for using fireworks can be up to $5,000.

    Nonetheless, the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District has already seen a four-fold increase in vegetation fires this year and at least a dozen were fireworks-related.

    "There may never have been a more dangerous year to celebrate the Independence Day holiday with fireworks," Spokesperson Steve Hill told KCBS Radio.

    Hill said not only are people lighting off more fireworks during the quarantine, the vegetation is as dry now as it usually is in August. In Contra Costa County, all fireworks are illegal - and if you did buy some, Hill asks you to please keep them in the box this year.