Here's how authorities plan to crack down on illegal fireworks in East Bay

Those caught with illegal fireworks in Contra Costa County could be fined up to $1,000.

ByLena Howland KGO logo
Friday, June 30, 2023
Here's how East Bay authorities plan to enforce illegal fireworks ban
Here's how fire, police departments plan to enforce illegal fireworks in East Bay ahead of the Fourth of July.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- With the Fourth of July now less than a week away, fire departments across the Bay Area are warning everyone about the dangers of illegal fireworks.

Contra Costa County Fire Department held a controlled demonstration on Thursday to warn everyone that even what's considered 'safe and sane' fireworks, like sparklers, are illegal.

"It spreads beyond what you can control with a garden hose at your house or what you can control with a bucket," said Aaron McAlister, Deputy Fire Chief for the Contra Costa County.

MORE: Livermore to hold property owners, party hosts liable for illegal fireworks

And for the third year, they're relying on their residents to report illegal fireworks to a toll-free tip line at 1-833-885-2021.

Those caught with them, could be fined up to $1,000.

But in Oakland, the police department says they did not issue a single citation for illegal fireworks last year on the Fourth of July.

Instead, police say their resources were shifted to address heavy illegal sideshow activity that night.

VIDEO: Santa Clara Co. 1st responders call for extra safety during 4th of July holiday events

Santa Clara County first responders want you to keep the fireworks to the professionals or risk ending up in the burn unit.

As for unincorporated Alameda County, the crackdown on fireworks has already begun.

The sheriff's office seizing nearly 300 pounds of fireworks earlier this week, while conducting compliance checks, which resulted in 14 searches.

And while they say they plan to have teams of investigators on top of patrol staff out in neighborhoods looking for illegal fireworks and responding to tip-line reports, they want folks to understand that they still have other priorities.

"We're experiencing a lot of crime in Alameda County and not just in our county, we're just seeing an uptick in violent crimes in the state of California so those calls will be prioritized based on the seriousness of other calls," said Lt. Tya Modeste, a spokesperson for the Alameda County Sheriff's Office.

4th of July events: List of Bay Area fireworks shows, festivals

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