Getting caught with illegal fireworks in Turlock could prove to be a costly mistake, as both the police and fire departments will be issuing hefty citations to violators.
A citation for using illegal fireworks can run up to $1,000, said Turlock Fire Department spokesman Capt. Jason Bernard.
The police department plans on having six additional officers on patrol over the holiday weekend that will have a focus on catching those lighting illegal fireworks.
In California, illegal fireworks include: Sky rockets; Bottle rockets; Roman candles; aerial shells; Firecrackers; and other fireworks that explode, go into the air, or move on the ground in an uncontrollable manner.
Each year illegal fireworks cause serious injuries and millions of dollars in property loss from sparking wildfires, according to Cal Fire. An illegal firework is believed to have sparked a fire on Saturday night on Baylor Avenue. The illegal firework ignited six Italian cypress trees on fire and threatened one structure before it was brough under control by the Turlock Fire Department.
The California Office of the State Fire Marshal engages in an extensive testing and approval process of a limited variety of 1.4G fireworks that are known and labeled as “Safe and Sane” fireworks as well as “State Fire Marshal-Approved,” or “State-Approved Fireworks.” These “State-Approved Fireworks” may be identified by the State Fire Marshal Seal found on the individual firework or the boxes containing them.
Illegal fireworks are generally those that do not have the State Fire Marshal's seal, or any that go up into the air or explode. Turlock also has a ban on noise-making fireworks known as “Whistling Petes” and “Piccolo Petes."
Fireworks sold at approved vendor booths around Turlock are all in the “Safe and Sane” category and meet all local firework laws and ordinances.
People can report the use of illegal fireworks to the police department by calling the non-emergency line at 668-1200.