Local fire officials offer safer ways to celebrate the Fourth of July and warn of dangers of illegal fireworks

CAMARILLO, Calif. – As Ventura County prepares to celebrate the Fourth of July, fire officials have teamed up with the Grossman Burn Center to remind the public that fireworks are illegal in the cities of Camarillo, Ventura, Moorpark, Santa Paula, Ojai, Port Hueneme, Oxnard, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks and the unincorporated areas of Ventura County.

Fireworks are a wonderful part of the Independence Day tradition but pose a serious threat of wildfire and danger for personal injury.

“While we will never be able to eliminate accidents, the public needs to understand how easily fireworks can start a fire or cause severe burns. We want everyone to practice safety, use caution and have a great and safe holiday,” said Ventura County Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen.

According to the Grossman Burn Center (GBC) at West Hills Hospital, fireworks result in approximately 10,000 injuries per year. In recent years, GBC has treated more patients from Ventura County for holiday burns than any other local county. One of the most dangerous types of fireworks is sparklers. Although they may seem harmless, sparklers can reach up to 1,800 degrees and cause third-degree burns in less than one second.

"With the long-term drought and a year-round fire season, the fire risk to our community is substantial and cannot be ignored. We need all community members, in every neighborhood across the city, to celebrate the July 4th holiday responsibly and safely," commented Ventura City Fire Chief David Endaya.

Here are four ‘safe and sane’ ways to celebrate the Fourth of July:

  1. Take a trip to the beach
  2. Find an outdoor activity like hiking or biking
  3. Host a BBQ with friends and family
  4. Visit a veteran

For additional holiday tips, watch this “Fourth of July Safety” video.

The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public fireworks show put on by professionals. Check local listings for holiday-related parades and professional fireworks shows in the cities of Camarillo, Ventura, Ojai, Thousand Oaks, Moorpark, Simi Valley, Oxnard/ Channel Islands, Fillmore, Agoura Hills, Westlake, and Calabasas.

Anyone found in possession of fireworks or caught using them could be fined up to $1,000 and/or receive a jail term of up to a year, under International Fire Code Section 3301.1.

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