Fireworks stands open for business in Salinas, other Monterey County cities

SALINAS — The fuse has been lit as some local municipalities begin allowing the sale of safe-and-sane fireworks in the runup to the Fourth of July but not all areas in Monterey County allow the sale or the ignition of any fireworks.

Salinas, Seaside, Marina, King City, Soledad, Gonzales and Greenfield only allow the sale and firing of legal fireworks within their jurisdictions. Fireworks of any type are not allowed in any other area of Monterey County including all unincorporated areas, special districts, coastal beaches, state and county parks, federal and state property including military installations. No beach in Monterey County allows any fireworks.

Madonna Del Sasso School Principal James Evans was helping to set up the group’s fireworks stand on North Main Street in Salinas on Tuesday afternoon.

Evans said his organization was fortunate enough to be chosen to have a stand as the sales are one of the best fundraisers for the school.

The organization has sold fireworks for two years in a row before the COVID-19 pandemic put the practice on hold for them the past couple of years, and Evans said he was happy to be back. The stand had already made three sales during its first hour of operation.

The Monterey County Regional Fire District reminds residents that the possession, storage, sale and use of all fireworks is illegal within its boundaries, which include a large area surrounding Salinas to the San Benito County line, southward to Chualar, into Carmel Valley, and around Monterey, Seaside and Marina, where it provides fire protection service through six stations.

The regional fire district points to an extreme fire hazard condition related to dried grasses and vegetation with most of Monterey County Regional Fire District being located within the wildland-urban interface fire area where the use of fireworks in these areas poses a significant threat to communities.

Legal fireworks bear the state fire marshal’s safe-and-sane seal. Illegal fireworks — including sky rockets, bottle rockets, roman candles, mortars, M-80s, cherry bombs and firecrackers — pose an additional risk to those handling them and a fire threat to surrounding structures.

Salinas will impose a fine of at least $1,000 if safe-and-sane fireworks are used, stored, sold or displayed outside of its June 28 to July 5 window, and will impose fines of at least $1,250 for the use of illegal fireworks at any time. To report illegal firework activity, call or text 831-758-7475.

Illegal fireworks use can be reported to the Monterey Police Department at 831-646-3914 and a fine of $1,000 can be imposed.

Seaside has a zero-tolerance policy for illegal fireworks and asks citizens to report the use of illegal fireworks by calling hotline numbers 831-899-6756, 831-899-6747 and 831-899-6748 or its dispatch at 831-394-6811, 831-769-8888, or by texting at 831-242-0435. The police department will handle the reports as criminal complaints.

Check with your city’s police or fire department about reporting illegal firework activity.

Contributed by local news sources

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