IE cracks down on illegal fireworks

RIVERSIDE, Calif. Last July Riverside County Sheriff's officers cited a number of residents for setting off fireworks. The reason is clear, fireworks can cause injuries and start fires.

"Within Riverside County's Safe and Sane fireworks as designated by the fire marshal are allowed only in the incorporated cities of Blythe, Coachella, Indio, Cathedral City and Desert Hot Springs," said Chief John Hawkins, Cal Fire.

At a press conference Wednesday, designed to emphasize the danger of fireworks, they used a mannequin to show what can happen if a person gets too bold.

Fireworks even from a packet of Safe and Sane pyrotechnics can be dangerous. And as we approach the Fourth the general public has a role to play.

"When they see somebody doing an illegal activity they should call. That will help prevent fires. It will help people from being injured. It could save their home and a neighbor's home," said Valerie Hill, Riverside County Sheriff's Department.

Seven fires were started by fireworks in Riverside County last July. Any person that causes a wildland fire using illegal fireworks will be held responsible for all suppression costs. That could run into the millions.

Officials realize that fireworks are probably the most universal forms of entertainment so you have to inform people of the dangers year after year.

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