Valley fire agencies come together to demonstrate firework safety

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City and county fire departments have come together to make sure you celebrate the 4th safely. (KFSN)

The Central Valley is about to get much louder. Whether you are into licensed fireworks shows or setting off sparklers at home, patriotic pride will light up the Valley.

So city and county fire departments have come together to make sure you do so safely.

"We want people to celebrate and have a good time, but we don't want people to get injured. We don't want property to become damaged because of improper use or Illegal fireworks," said Deputy Chief Ted Semonious, Fresno Fire Department.

The Central Valley Task Force is taking a proactive approach by educating the public-- warning of the dangers of illegal fireworks.

"They go up in the sky then in turn they bring pieces down, there's a lot of wood shake and dry grass out there," said Chief John Binaski, Clovis Fire Department.

It only took a minute to set a hill on fire with a roman candle-- and about 10 to put out, but that was with firefighters here. Even if someone calls 911 immediately there is still a response time to consider-- getting geared up and getting the hoses out.

"You might have free burning for 8 to 10 minutes-- if it was on a residential it could be catastrophic," said Andy Isolano, Clovis Fire.

They suggest purchasing safe and sane fireworks that you can find at one of almost 80 booths manned by local non-profits and organizations. If you are not sure what you are buying, just look for the registered seal on the box.

Fines for illegally setting off fireworks start at $1,000 and if set off at a home it is the property owner that's responsible.

"Not only are you going to get fined, not only can you potentially burn someone's house down, but you can hurt yourself by using them," said Binaski.

Last year the task force received more than 200 calls-- responding to 35 fires and confiscating more than 500 pounds of illegal fireworks.

As for proper use give at least a 50 foot clearance from any combustible material and know your surroundings. Even the safe and sane fireworks are illegal in the foothills or mountain communities.

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