Fireworks season underway

FRESNO, Calif.

Customers couldn't wait for these fireworks stands to open. So many new items this year like the "Peacock tail fan."

The Ice Skating Club of Fresno was one of 50 new groups selected through a lottery to work a stand. The club lucked out with a prime spot at Bullard and Blackstone in North Fresno.

Marisa Sanchez of Fresno explained, "We feel very, very fortunate because we're always looking for new ways to fundraise without having to harass all our family and friends."

In the North Valley fireworks sales have served as the Merced high marching band's second biggest fundraiser. Club treasurer Mike Smith said, "It helps with all our expenses, uniforms, feeding the kids when we travel, getting to the different competitions."

Any fireworks which leave the ground and explode are illegal. They include bottle rockets and m-80s.

Cal Fire division chief Craig Tolmie said, "There's a lot of debris that comes down from the use of illegal fireworks. All that debris has the potential of starting a fire either on a neighbor's roof or in vegetation that could endanger lives or property."

A recent fire along the bluffs served as a reminder of how quickly fire can spread. Because of the dry, brittle brush even safe and sane fireworks are prohibited near the San Joaquin River between Highway 99 and Freeway 41.

Christie Nicholas wanted to make sure everyone is responsible this Fourth of July. She said, "The dry grass it burns so fast and all our houses are around here. We want just everyone to be respectful and do it where you can confine the area, where you can put it out fast."

A fire caused by fireworks, even if they're legal, can lead to a thousand dollar fine.

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