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Preventing the use of illegal fireworks in Monterey County

Firefighters are preparing for a busy 4th of July in Monterey County and urging people to be careful as they celebrate the holiday.

“In the unincorporated area of Monterey County fireworks are prohibited,” said Cal fire Captain John Spooner.

Officials say right now the conditions are also dangerous for the Fourth of July staple.

“We had decent rain. It’s not as dry as it’s been, but there are parts of the county that are still very dry and the last thing we need is a fire,” Commander John Thornburg with the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office said.

Cal fire is beefing up their staff a couple days before and after Fourth of July to enforce local ordinances around purchasing and using fireworks and also to be on stand by for explosives that get out of hand.

“We don’t want to experience another Soberanes Fire and fireworks are a great opportunity for a fire to start,” said Spooner.

This will also be a historically busy weekend and weekday for the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office. They expect to receive hundreds of calls reporting illegal fireworks and bad behavior.

“We get a lot of fireworks calls on Fourth of July. We do our best to handle as many as we possibly can but the reality of the situation is we can’t get to all of them,” said Commander Thornburg.

Safety officials say other than only using state fire marshal approved fireworks, never use them near dry grass or other flammable materials, keep a safe distance and never attempt to re-light them.

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