In an early wildfire season, the Contra Costa County’s Board of Supervisors emphasized public safety and wildfire prevention at its June 8 meeting, and unanimously passed Ordinance No. 2021-19, amending the county’s fireworks ordinance, Chapter 44-2 of the County Ordinance Code. The new ordinance strengthens regulations of the possession, manufacture, sale, use, and discharge of fireworks in the unincorporated areas of Contra Costa County.
“Illegal fireworks pose a danger to our communities and a drain on our system,” said Board Chair, Supervisor Diane Burgis. “We simply don’t have the resources to address this continued problem. I would encourage the cities to follow suit and send the message that illegal fireworks will not be tolerated in Contra Costa County.”
Under the new ordinance, property owners and vessel owners are responsible for ensuring that the use of illegal fireworks does not occur on their property. Owners may be liable for ordinance violations if illegal fireworks are used on their property or vessel.
The ordinance also authorizes the sheriff’s office to issue citations for violations of the fireworks ordinance. A violation of the ordinance is subject to a fine of $100, a fine of $200 for a second violation of the ordinance within one year, and a fine of $500 for each additional violation of the ordinance within one year.
See full document Ordinance No. 2021-19 (PDF), amending Chapter 44-2 of the County Ordinance Code on Fireworks.
“Due to unseasonably dry fuel conditions in Contra Costa County, we urge the public to take every precaution to prevent wildfires. The use of illegal fireworks caused a recent fire in our county that destroyed two apartment buildings and displaced 30 residents,” said Fire Chief Lewis T. Broschard III, Contra Costa County Fire Protection District. “Playing with illegal fireworks is dangerous and poses the very real possibility of causing wildland fires that could easily destroy homes and threaten lives in this time of critically high fire risk. We urge everyone to follow the regulations and stay safe.”
“Illegal fireworks in our county continually pose a threat to the safety of our communities,” said Fire Chief Brian Helmick, East Contra Costa Fire Protection District. “On behalf of our District, we would like to thank Supervisor Burgis and the Board of Supervisors for taking these necessary actions to curb the use of illegal fireworks and for helping to protect all citizens who have been impacted by illegal fireworks.”
During today’s Board meeting, presentations from the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services, the National Weather Service, and the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District highlighted the advance planning and coordination taking place, and the seasonal risks that residents need to know about and prepare for.
Learn about wildfire preparedness with the “Contra Costa County Residents Guide to Wildfire Prevention and Evacuation,” available in English and Spanish, on the county website. Visit the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District website for the Wildfire Prevention Guide and safety tips and resources. Sign up today for the Contra Costa County Community Warning System to get emergency alerts at www.cwsalerts.com. Take a step toward readiness and keep your family and neighbors safe!