Fourth of July holiday sparks fireworks concerns
The Fourth of July is just days away and as the holiday draws near, the sights and sounds of fireworks become more common.
Over the weekend, San Leandro saw a fire that may have been sparked by fireworks. The burned area can be seen at the end of Hannah Drive, an area with lots of housing around it.
"Any vegetation is primed to burn and that's what scares us, especially with illegal fireworks that can fly," says Alameda County Fire District Battalion Chief Jim Call.
The Saturday morning fire burned just half an acre, but could have been much worse. Witnesses told fire investigators they heard popping - possibly from fireworks - before it started.
"Be extra cautious this Fourth of July with the drought. We are in extreme potential for fire growth," added Call.
Last week, the high temperatures, low humidity and winds helped fan multiple fires around the region. And those conditions are due to return later in the week, As we get closer to this weekend's holiday, fire officials are growing increasingly concerned about people using fireworks.
"Not only for their safety, but also for the potential of wildfires just in California and the Bay Area," said CalFire Battalion Chief Brandon Leitzke.
The sales of safe and sane fireworks are on in Dublin again, including at a stand run by the Dublin San Ramon Women's Club, one of the safe and sane fireworks is called the Brew Haha Fountain.
These fireworks have a seal from the state Fire Marshall that says "safe and sane."
While these types of fireworks are illegal in most of Alameda County and all of Contra Costa County that doesn't stop out of towners from shopping there, including one man from Concord who has loved fireworks since he was a kid. "Oh yeah. We used to shoot them up in the sky. Yeah, it was pretty crazy back in the day," said Robert, who wouldn't give his last name.
Jeri Bianchi of Brentwood said she and her two sons would be setting off fireworks this year, but at her parents' house in Dublin.
"We do it every year. It's tradition for us to set off a few fireworks, but safely," she said.
Although even the most basic sparklers can be dangerous, one study showed that half the injuries caused to children under 5-years-old wear caused by sparklers.
Sparklers can burn up to 3000 degrees and easily set clothing on fire, and even cause wildfires.
The fireworks stand hands out a flier from the city of Dublin that lists where safe and sane fireworks are not allowed. These locations include most city parks and all city facilities and city schools.
The biggest concerns center around those fireworks that are illegal everywhere which includes the popular ones that shoot up into the air and explode.
Its common-place around this time of year to see those types of dangerous fireworks over Bay Area skies.