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Use of illegal fireworks this 4th of July could result in steep fines

Fireworks are illegal in all unincorporated areas of Riverside County and within almost all city limits. To underscore the danger illegal fireworks pose for people, animals, and the environment, Riverside County residents could be fined for using them in unincorporated areas. The multi-agency effort to combat the sale, transportation, and use of illegal fireworks comes after an increasingly excessive and hazardous use of illegal fireworks in past years.

Last year, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors approved the authority of officers from the fire department, sheriff’s department, and code enforcement to issue citations and penalties for those who light illegal fireworks in the unincorporated areas. The higher fines will be issued between $1,000 and $5,000, depending on the number of violations a person has over three years.

“Last year’s enforcement was a vast improvement, resulting in fewer illegal fireworks on the streets,” First District Supervisor Kevin Jeffries said. “This ultimately meant residents, animals, and property were safer.”

During last year’s enforcement activities, the county issued a total of 269 citations, made 14 arrests, and seized more than 3,600 pounds of illegal fireworks.

“Fireworks are extremely dangerous,” Riverside County Fire Chief Bill Weiser said.” Not only do they cause fires that could destroy homes, but illegal fireworks can leave people with physical and psychological scars as well. Anyone who causes a wildland fire by using fireworks will be held responsible for damages and the cost to fight the fire.”

Residents can report illegal fireworks by calling the Riverside County Sheriff’s non-emergency toll-free number at 800-950-2444.

For a list of professional fireworks shows offered in Riverside County, click here.

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