While Safe and Sane fireworks are permitted in most areas of Siskiyou County, local fire departments urge those celebrating with fireworks to use extreme caution this season in light of the statewide drought and the abundance of dry vegetation.

Neighborhoods across Siskiyou County will soon be filled with the pops and snaps of fireworks and the shrieks of Piccolo Petes in celebration of America’s 238th birthday.

While Safe and Sane fireworks are permitted in most areas of Siskiyou County, local fire departments urge those celebrating with fireworks to use extreme caution this season in light of the statewide drought and the abundance of dry vegetation.

In preparation for the July 4 holiday weekend, the Mt. Shasta City Fire Department is working closely with the Mount Shasta Police Department to seize illegal fireworks and prosecute those found in possession of them, said MSPD Lieutenant Joe Restine.

“There is a zero tolerance policy,” said Melo. “Possession of illegal fireworks is a misdemeanor offense.”

Safe and Sane fireworks are sold by a legitimate vendor authorized to sell them and will always include the State Fire Marshal’s registered seal. Any fireworks that explode, rises in the air or move on the ground in an uncontrollable fashion are illegal, said Restine. Examples include sky rockets, bottle rockets, Roman candles, mortars, M-80s, cherry bombs, firecrackers, aerial shells, and helicopters.

In addition, those who misuse or alter legal fireworks will be cited, said Melo.

Fireworks should be used outdoors only, away from buildings, crowds of people, vehicles, dry grass or other flammable objects. They should not be thrown into the air under any circumstances.

Fire prevention patrols will be out in force this year, just as they are every year, said Melo. Local departments around the county will be working with CAL FIRE and the Forest Service to uphold firework regulations and their safe usage.

It is against state law for anyone under the age of 16 to possess fireworks of any sort, even the Safe and Sane variety, Melo added.

“Those under 16 can and will be detained and brought to the police department if they are found to be in possession,” Melo added.

Parents should be aware that they can be held liable for any injuries or damage caused by their children using fireworks.

Ironically, sparklers – which are usually deemed safe for supervised children – cause the most injuries each year, especially to the eyes, feet, face and hands. According to Kids Health, sparklers can reach 1,800 degrees, hot enough to melt gold.

No fireworks are permitted in the National Forests. They are completely banned in the Lake Shastina Community Services District.