Local News

Monday, Jul 01 2013 06:01 PM

Firefighters urge caution as fireworks sales are under way

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    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    Raul Perez, 8, right, and his sister Florance Perez, 6, get an idea of what kind of fireworks they may want to see on the Fourth of July as firework stands opened today to start selling to the public.. Their parents were working the Mision Apostolica Church stand at the corner of North Chester Avenue and China Grade Loop.

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  2. 2 of 3

    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    The public will have many legal fireworks to choose from to celebrate the Fourth of July, including these brightly colored offerings that emit a shower of sparks.

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  3. 3 of 3

    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    Members of the Mision Apostolica Church take a lunch break at their fireworks stand at the corner of North Chester Avenue and China Grade Loop. The church, which is in its third year of selling fireworks, has this stand and a second at Wilson Road and South Chester.

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BY JASON KOTOWSKI Californian staff writer jkotowski@bakersfield.com

Fireworks sales began Monday in Bakersfield, and firefighters are urging caution and that residents follow the law by only buying and using fireworks during appropriate hours and in a safe manner.

Bakersfield Fire Department firefighters said in a news release that most accidents with fireworks involve children ages 5 to 14. They recommend adults closely supervise any child using fireworks, and never allow small children to handle them.

Related Info

Fireworks purchase and use rules

 

Following is a list of when fireworks can be bought and used in Kern County:

City of Bakersfield

* Sales - July 1, noon to 11 p.m.; July 2 and 3, 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.; July 4, 6 a.m. to 12:01 a.m.

* Usage - July 1, noon to 12:01 a.m.; July 2 and 3, 9 a.m. to 12:01 a.m.; July 4, 9 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.

 

City of Delano

* Sales - Noon to 10 p.m. from June 28 to July 4.

* Usage - July 2 and 3, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; July 4, 10 a.m. to midnight.

 

City of Wasco

* Sales - Noon to 8 p.m. from June 28 to July 5.

* Usage - July 1, noon to 12:01 a.m.; July 2 and 3, 9 a.m. to 12:01 a.m.; July 4, 9 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.

 

County of Kern (including Arvin, Buttonwillow, Lamont, Lost Hills, Maricopa, McFarland, Mojave, Rosamond, Ridgecrest, Shafter and Taft)

* Sales - July 1, noon to 11 p.m.; July 2 and 3, 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.; July 4, 6 a.m. to 12:01 a.m.

* Usage - July 1, noon to 12:01 a.m.; July 2 and 3, 9 a.m. to 12:01 a.m.; July 4, 9 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.

 

Source: Kern County Fire Department

To be legal in California, all fireworks must have the State of California Fire Marshal's seal and the slogan "Safe and Sane." All others, including "Safe and Sane" fireworks that have been modified, are illegal and will be confiscated.

All Piccolo Pete or other whistling-type fireworks and Ground Bloom-type fireworks are illegal for sale or use in Bakersfield. Anyone caught with illegal fireworks faces a minimum $1,500 fine.

Firefighters say fireworks should always be ignited outdoors away from people, structures, vehicles, dry grass or other combustibles. Never reignite malfunctioning fireworks or light ones that have loose fuses or leaking powder, and always have a water source nearby.

Bakersfield Fire Battalion Chief Anthony Galagaza said a water hose or some sort of water source should be nearby because fireworks release sparks in different directions. He said the only day fireworks can be bought outside the Independence Day period is Dec. 31.

Kern County firefighters conducted undercover operations with the assistance of probation officers and deputies last week and seized more than 700 pounds of illegal fireworks. In 2012, a fireworks task force issued 54 citations, with another 24 issued by fire station personnel.

The Fireworks Task Force hotline, where people can call to report illegal fireworks use, is 868-6070 and runs from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. July 3 and 4. The non-emergency number outside that time is 324-6551.

For more information, go to KernCountyFire.org.

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