Historic drought increases risk of wildfire from fireworks
Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today issued the following statement urging Californians to be cautious while celebrating the Fourth of July:
“The drought in California has created dangerous conditions for wildfires this summer. And the risk will spike this weekend as millions celebrate the July 4 holiday. I urge all Californians to leave fireworks to the professionals this year.
“Last year we saw how much damage irresponsible use of fireworks can cause. The San Francisco Fire Department reported at least 100 grass fires, Fresno saw at least 135 fires and the Los Angeles Fire Department responded to nearly 400 fires, many started by fireworks.
“Fireworks at one party in Yucaipa last September sparked a wildfire that burned more than 20,000 acres. Just last week, firefighters in Fresno County responded to a brush fire caused by illegal fireworks.
“The bottom line is that with the hot, dry conditions California is currently experiencing, using fireworks risks sparking destructive and deadly wildfires. And using illegal fireworks can lead to fines of up to $50,000 and a year in jail. Parents are also liable for any damage or injuries caused by their children using fireworks.
“Do your part to prevent wildfires and celebrate the holiday safely by skipping fireworks at home and instead watch a public show in your community.”
- The National Fire Protection Association estimates nearly 19,000 fires are started by fireworks annually.
- It’s believed that at least 84 percent of all wildfires in the United States are started by human ignition.
- In 2020, 58,950 wildfires across the country burned more than 10 million acres. At least 9,900 wildfires burned a record 4.25 million acres in California.
- As of June 11, at least twice as many acres in California have burned compared to the same time last year.
- For more information on fireworks safety, visit Cal Fire’s website here. Information in Spanish is available here.