First responders remind you to celebrate America's birthday responsibly

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- In the Smart & Final parking lot off Clinton and Blackstone, Pastor Bruce Hood is braving the 90 plus degree weather for one reason, "I want to do all I can as a pastor to help people as much as I can."

He and his group, Feed My Sheep Ministries, feed roughly 600 families per week, so a firework fundraiser brings them the boost they need to carry out their mission.

"It is just a few days; we make a nice little purse of money then we can go back and take care of God's business."

Safe and sane firework sales are one of the biggest fundraisers of the year for local non-profits, helping them raise thousands of dollars for their organization.

But you won't find any bottle rockets here, or any fireworks that will leave the ground.

Lighting those could land you a hefty fine, and even worse, could start a fire.

Battalion Chief Brian Price of the Fresno Fire Department explains, "High heat, low humidity, dry grass, fireworks, lots of ignition sources, so there is a lot of activity, not just in grassfires but also house fires."

Independence Day is one of the busiest times of the year for Fresno Fire department.

"We have additional rigs in service, even change our dispatch protocol to account for some of the specifics that happen on the fourth of July," said Price.

Even legal fireworks can be dangerous if not handled properly.

Last year Community Regional Medical Center's outpatient facility treated 27 firework-related injuries.

"Just like you want a designated driver, have a designated igniter for your fireworks," said Price. "Someone that is not drinking and can make good sound decisions for the group."

The most common mistake: throwing what's left in the trash.

Price recommends that people, "Have a bucket of water handy so they can discard of the used fireworks."

First responders are urging you only to call 9-1-1 if there is an emergency like a fire or injury.

It is already a busy time of year, so when it comes to illegal firework activity, they want you to use the FresGo app to make a report.
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