Alameda County Fire Department increasing staffing for Fourth of July

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Alameda County firefighters will increase staffing during the 4th of July holiday in an effort to be prepared for a likely increase in fireworks related fires this time of year. (KGO-TV)

Alameda County firefighters will increase staffing during the 4th of July holiday in an effort to be prepared for a likely increase in fireworks related fires this time of year.

There are four parks in Dublin where residents can enjoy fireworks shows, but Alameda County firefighters are urging people to stay away from high overgrown golden grass to enjoy fireworks.
LIST: Bay Area 4th of July fireworks and festivities

Heat and sparks from fireworks along with dry grass is the perfect recipe for a brush fire.

On Mission Boulevard in Union City signs already send a message. Although some fireworks are legal, they are completely off limits in some areas of the city.

"We have a lot of messaging and bannering. I know I was up on Parmesan Hills earlier today. They have a sign up there as well," Alameda County Battalion Chief John Whiting said.

Safe and sane fireworks can be sold in Union City. At one of the city's booths there is one package that stood out as the most popular.

"The 49er," fireworks vendor Donnie Evans said. The name comes from the price. "It's $49. It has a lot of fountains and specialty items," Evans said.

But firefighters will report any use of illegal fireworks. This week alone, law enforcement officials seized 5,000 pounds of illegal fireworks.

As for legal stuff, Evans explains what's allowed. "We sell nothing that shoots in the air or blows up," he said.

Fire crews are out inspecting fireworks stands for certain safety precautions. "That they have a fire extinguisher nearby and that the supply that they have under lock and key, and that it's not sitting out for people to come by," Whiting said.

Once Independence Day ends, how you dispose of fireworks is important.

"Around two in the morning people throwing away those spent fireworks, they haven't watered them down. And now we're handling the garbage can fires," Whiting said.

Whiting says to soak those fireworks in a 5 gallon bucket of water overnight, then dispose them a day later.

Want to know what the weather will be like here for the Fourth of July? Click here for the latest AccuWeather forecast.

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