Burst of fireworks going off that are mostly light green with some flashes of red

Fire Officials Start Tip Line, Remind That Fireworks Are Illegal in County

Burst of fireworks going off that are mostly light green with some flashes of red
(“Fireworks @ the Richmond marina III” by Flickr user TJ Gehling under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 license)

By Tony Hicks
Bay City News Foundation

As we get closer to Fourth of July, the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District has started a hotline for people to report illegal fireworks.

The number is (833) 885-2021.

California is currently experiencing a historic drought. Dry conditions are ripe for wildfires, even on cooler-than-normal days. And fireworks of any type are illegal in Contra Costa County, regardless of where they’re sold.

Celebrations involving fireworks last year forced the district to respond to 53 reports of fires, most of those fireworks-related and between 9 p.m. and midnight. Forty-eight fires burned only vegetation, with five involving structures.

The line features a voice menu allowing callers to quickly reach the correct law enforcement number for their location by entering the first three letters of their city’s name.

The line allows callers to select “unincorporated area” as their location, connecting them with the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office.

The fire district says use of fireworks in the county is not just illegal, but “exceedingly dangerous during current drought conditions.”

Fire officials urges anyone observing fireworks being used to report this to their local law enforcement non-emergency line by calling (833) 885-2021. The district’s Fire Investigation Unit also asks residents to help them fight the dangerous use of illegal fireworks by reporting fireworks sales across the county to the Arson Tip Line at (866) 50-ARSON.

They caution residents not to hesitate on information that seems too little or unimportant to matter, adding some of the most valuable tips come from residents who were not aware what they saw was very important to the investigation of an incident.

Callers can leave a recorded message about fireworks sales, or any fire-related criminal activity, in English or Spanish. Tips can be anonymous and are treated confidentially. Fire investigators sometimes need additional information, so inclusion of name and phone number is encouraged.

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