Local Law Enforcement, County Warn Against Use of July 4th Fireworks

Carmela Karcher

Fourth of July and fireworks.

One of the best ways to celebrate the holiday, but there are ways to do it safely and legally.

“Don’t use them. They’re not permitted,” Indio Police Department’s Administrative Officer Benjamin Guitron said. “People that have gone and purchased the Roman candles and all that kind of stuff, it’s a big no.”

Not only are they illegal in Riverside County, but they can cause a lot of harm to children, the elderly, pets and even veterans with PTSD.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, fireworks started over 12,000 fires and injured about 11,000 people across the country in 2021.

“Oftentimes, we think we can just have fun and we forget about the fact that they are literally explosives that can actually kill us, and if not, cause severe injuries to ourselves,” County of Riverside Public Information Specialist Yaoska Machado said. “They can easily cause a fire, whether it’s a house fire, or a wildfire. We have to keep in mind that when this happens, it can cost the lives of residents and financial costs to local governments.”

If you’re caught, fines can reach up to $5,000.

And law enforcement will be present.

“We will be vigilant when addressing those problems,” Guitron continued. “If and when we get the reports of these types of activities going on, we will be investigating.”

Instead of setting them off on your own, there are alternatives.

“Just go to one of the public shows that are happening throughout many cities in the county,” Machado explained. “A lot of the shows are for free. They’re great to attend and awesome to see.”

“We just want everyone to have a good time,” Guitron said. “Enjoy the Fourth of July, but don’t make us part of your enjoyment when you’ve done something that you shouldn’t be doing.”

Fireworks aren’t the only danger.

Drinking and driving poses a big risk this holiday to others on the road.

So put the keys away, call an Uber, Lyft or a friend, and have a great holiday.

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