Contra Costa firefighters blame overnight fires on illegal fireworks

The dry hills of the East Bay plus gusts of wind equals a problematic spark from fireworks. That is how Contra Costa County firefighters spent Saturday night.

"We had about two and a half acre grass fire over here," said Battalion Fire Chief Scott Valencia, speaking of a fire in Antioch. "Along with several fires that came in at the same time from Bay Pointe to Antioch."

In Bay Point, firefighters extinguished a fire at a mobile home. In Concord, they put out flames of a small fire in the parking lot of Highlands Elementary Schools.

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In Antioch, in addition to the grass fire, firefighters found 15 abandoned semi trucks on fire.

"Me, my uncle, my mom and my brother we went outside looking around for this fire," said Erin Arin, who lives in Antioch.

Fire officials say each of those fires were sparked by irresponsible use of illegal fireworks.

"You need to be responsible and safe with the fireworks," said Valencia. "With the winds going right now, anything that goes off blows into the grass, which causes us to go these grass fires nonstop."

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It's not only dangerous but people who live nearby say the loud pops from the fireworks are annoying to hear at night.

"Some people are careless," said Ed from Antioch. "There has got to be consequences. There have to be consequences for sure, otherwise it's gonna be a non-stop ongoing issue."

Consequences for possessing or shooting fireworks unlawfully could result in hundreds of dollars in fines and, in some cases, jail time.