.Hold Your Fireworks: Officials Warn of Increased Fines

Residents in Santa Cruz County will face steep fines for using fireworks this Fourth of July, including at area beaches.

“Illegal fireworks can be a threat to public safety, spark wildfires, and be harmful to the environment, vulnerable residents, and pets,” Santa Cruz County spokesman Jason Hoppin said in a press release.

Watsonville Police, meanwhile, will use drones to catch scofflaws.

The department’s basic tips:

• If it shoots up into the sky and explodes, it’s illegal.

• If it makes a loud, explosive sound, it’s illegal.

• if it doesn’t have the “Safe and Sane” seal from the California State Fire Marshal, it’s illegal.

Increased fines of up to $1,000 per firework are in effect during the Fourth of July holiday. The Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office will increase enforcement and patrols, particularly in coastal neighborhoods.

Here are reminders to enjoy a safe

holiday and avoid fines:

• Fireworks of any kind are not allowed in unincorporated Santa Cruz County and are banned on all beaches.

• Alcoholic beverages are not allowed on public beaches or in public outside of commercial establishments or residences. Fines of up to $1,000 are in effect around the Fourth of July holiday.

• If you see what looks like a homemade explosive, stay back, call 911, and wait for law enforcement.

• Pack your trash. 

• If your pet is disturbed by loud noises, exercise them before sunset and keep them indoors in a quiet, safe environment. Ask a vet about ways to alleviate anxiety if your pet is seriously distressed by loud noises.

To report illegal fireworks in Watsonville, call 471.1151.

In unincorporated SC County, call 471-1121.

For information, visit santacruzcountyca.gov.


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