Illegal fireworks

The San Bernardino County Fire Department seized more than 60,000 pounds of illegal fireworks in 2018.  (Contributed photo by San Bernardino County Fire Department)

It's no longer fire season in California -- it's fire year.

Due to high fire hazards and risk of injury, the City of Fontana Police Department and San Bernardino County Fire Department are working to prevent the use of illegal fireworks through an educational outreach campaign from now until July 5.

The Say No to Illegal Fireworks Awareness and Enforcement Campaign will include a series of fire and law enforcement operations to stop attempts towards the use, sale and possession of illegal fireworks.

The campaign also includes public service announcements, digital billboard ads on the Interstate 10 and 210 Freeways, and movie preview ads playing before all movies at Regency Fontana 8 from June 14 to July 4.

Residents can expect to see social media posts, banners throughout the city, and Say No to Illegal Fireworks magnets on Police Department patrol cars and city-owned vehicles.

The Fontana P.D. is strictly enforcing fireworks-related violations. Fines for possession and use of illegal fireworks range from $2,500 to $10,000.

"In 2018, California saw its worst fire season in the state's history. Due to the destruction caused by wildfires, we're not taking any chances," said Fontana Police Department Sergeant Kellen Guthrie. "Fontana officers will be heavily enforcing fireworks-related offenses."

Fireworks not in direct control of the operator or that explode, shoot into the air, move along the ground and are not approved by the California State Fire Marshal are deemed dangerous, and are illegal everywhere in the state of California.

In 2018, the San Bernardino County Fire Department Office of the Fire Marshal, in cooperation with law enforcement, seized more than 60,000 pounds of illegal fireworks in the county.

"Since May 2019 we have already seized 4,000 pounds," said Fire Marshal Mike Horton.

Residents who plan on purchasing fireworks must purchase Safe and Sane fireworks. Sale of these fireworks are permitted only from noon to 10 p.m. on June 28, and from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily on June 29 through July 5. Safe and Sane fireworks can only be used between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m. on the days which these fireworks are sold.

While Safe and Sane fireworks are allowed within the majority of Fontana's city limits, all fireworks -- including Safe and Sane -- are prohibited in Fontana's high fire hazard area in the northern area of the city.

Per municipal code section 15-616, property in the city north of Summit Avenue, west of Interstate 15 and east of Lytle Creek Road is deemed a high fire hazard area. To find out if they live in Fontana's high fire hazard area, where all fireworks are prohibited, residents can visit the City of Fontana's fireworks information web page at www.fontana.org/fireworks to view the boundary map.

----- THE CITY OF FONTANA invites everyone to attend its Fourth of July Celebration at Fontana High School on Thursday, July 4. The event will be filled with food vendors, activities for all ages, and a performance from Kalimba, The Spirit of Earth Wind and Fire. Gates open at 5 p.m., with a spectacular fireworks show lighting up the summer sky at 9 p.m. Tickets are $6 and go on sale on Monday, June 10 at the following locations:

• Community Services Department, 16860 Valencia Avenue

• Don Day Neighborhood Center, 14501 Live Oak Avenue

• Fontana City Hall, 8353 Sierra Avenue

• Jessie Turner Health and Fitness Center, 15556 Summit Avenue

To report the use of illegal fireworks, call the Fontana Police Department at (909) 350-7700 or WeTip Hotline at 1-800-47-Arson.

For more information about the use of fireworks, visit www.fontana.org/fireworks or call the Fireworks Information Line at (909) 356-7101.

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