Contra Costa County Fire Inspectors Crack Down on Illegal Fireworks

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For the last couple weeks, fire departments across the Bay Area have been pleading with people not to light fireworks.

The region is so dry. Officials are very concerned about the chance of fires and fireworks are illegal in most of the Bay Area.

Contra Costa County fire inspectors were on patrol Saturday night to cite people who were using illegal fireworks.

A county-wide ordinance recently passed in Contra Costa County earlier this year, banning the sale and use of fireworks here.

But there are some people who are still using them.

“Tonight, we have all of our investigators. We've called them back. They're all working tonight and we have upstaffed extra personnel. We have a task force we've put together,” said Fire Marshal Chris Bachman with the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District.

Earlier on Saturday, fire crews were called out to respond to a small fire that's suspected to have been started by fireworks.

The Contra Costa Fire Protection District has actually had extra staff on patrol for several days now leading up to this holiday weekend.

The task force includes local police agencies that are also out on patrol and can write citations for people setting off fireworks.

Similar types of patrols are happening across the Bay Area this weekend.

The biggest concern is the potential fireworks have in starting a fire that could quickly turn into a dangerous situation.

But despite the pleas from county and local fire departments, the night skies have been getting lit up with fireworks.

In Contra Costa County, people can be fined up to $5,000, depending on the damage fireworks they set off may cause.

Under the new county ordinance, the person setting them off and the person who owns the property where they have set off can be held responsible.

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