MARIPOSA – Did you know that possession of fireworks in our area can mean hefty fines and even jail time?
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) would like to remind Eastern Madera and Mariposa County residents of the very real fire danger and the consequences for the use of illegal fireworks.
All fireworks, including “Safe and Sane,” are illegal in Mariposa County as well as all areas east of the Madera Canal in Madera County.
Take the family and enjoy the public displays at Lake McClure Point on Saturday, July 1, and at Bass Lake on Tuesday, July 4.
Cal Fire Peace Officers will be out in full force. Anyone caught with fireworks will be cited and fireworks confiscated.
Violation of fireworks laws are subject to a maximum $1,000 fine and up to one year in a county jail. However, if large quantities of dangerous fireworks are found, prosecutors could charge the violator with a felony, punishable by up to three years in the California State Prison and fines up to $50,000.
In addition to Peace Officers, Cal Fire Volunteers in Prevention (VIP’s) and Amateur Radio Operators (HAMs) will be patrolling. The extra staffing provides Cal Fire with additional “eyes & ears” for heightened awareness for the public.
Each patrol is made up of VIP’s in radio-equipped mobile units assigned to designated routes in the Madera-Mariposa-Merced Unit (MMU). They will report fires in their early stages, identify and report situations that may cause fires and will be highly visible to serve as a deterrent to arsonists.
The rainfall we received this year supplied an abundance of grass which has dried out quickly. This dry grass can spread fire rapidly. The tree mortality in the area compounds the risk of having a disastrous fire. Everybody needs to be responsible and aware of actions that will cause fires.
Cal Fire wishes everyone a safe holiday weekend and remember: one less spark means one less wildfire!