San Francisco

Fireworks Shows Celebrate Fourth of July in the Bay Area

Nothing like midweek parades, delicious food and fireworks.

Scores of people across the Bay Area once again repped the red, white and blue as they celebrated the Fourth of July Wednesday with both legal and illegal pyrotechnics.

FOURTH OF JULY EVENTS GUIDE: Parades, Celebrations and Fireworks Around the Bay Area

Folks in San Francisco celebrated Independence Day amid a heavy police presence along the waterfront as thousands flocked to the area to catch the annual fireworks show.

The festive display featured about 5,000 explosions set to music. 

Aerial view of the finale at the Fourth of July fireworks show at Discovery Meadow Park in downtown San Jose.

In San Jose, fireworks lit up the night sky above Discovery Meadow in the downtown area. And there were plenty of additional fireworks of the illegal kind across the South Bay, as seen on aerial footage from NBC Bay Area's chopper. 

The city still allows residents to report illegal fireworks activity online, but after last year's hiccups involving innocent people being fined, the city says it has updated its reporting website.

In the East Bay city of Pittsburg, authorities were chasing down dozens of reports of illegal fireworks, and some desribed it sounding like a war zone.

A Contra Costa County fireworks task force dispatches emergency crews to the scenes of fires and injuries caused by fireworks.

It varies from year to year, but between dusk and dawn they will log hundreds of complaints.

"Our resources get spread so thin that sometimes we’ll even go to a manual mode of dispatching," Contra Costa Fire District Chief Chief Jeff Carman said.

All fireworks are illegal in the county, a move to avoid fires and injuries and to protect pets and avoid alarming people who cope with PTSD.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, fireworks cause an estimated 18,500 fires every year, and hospital emergency rooms admitted nearly 13,000 people with injuries from fireworks in 2017.

"We have had people who have lost appendages, fingers – that sort of thing," ConFire Marshal Robert Marshall said.

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