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Salinas Fire Department stepping up 4th of July enforcement

Firework season is here and Salinas Fire and police are using unique methods to make sure everyone is staying safe and following the rules.

“Safe and sane” fireworks went on sale in Salinas Thursday.

The Fire Department and police are also starting to patrol and they say it’s not just about giving out tickets.

The Fourth of July season brings a lot of color but also some danger.

“June 15th to July 15th, our call volume at least quadruples,” said Salinas Fire Batalion Chief and Fire Marshal Sam Klemek, “Vegetation fires, trash can fires and especially house fires where debris from aerial fireworks falls on to roofs, starts the house on fire.”

That’s why the Salinas Fire Department says it’s taking extra measures to step up this year’s patrols.

“We’ll have active enforcement from the fire prevention division, our code enforcement division as well as our police department actively in the neighborhoods responding to reports, not necessarily in big red fire engines,” Klemek said.

And the enforcement teams aren’t just looking on the streets.

“Our enforcement staff is looking at social media and other outlets for the sale of illegal fireworks,” Klemek said, “Our enforcement staff will also be focusing on neighborhoods that we are getting concentrated reports.”

If you’re caught using those illegal fireworks be ready to pay up.

“Not only are you liable for the criminal penalties but also the civil penalties of any damage that are caused by fireworks,” Klemek said.

But the fire department says it’s not just about fines it’s about safety and they need your help to protect everyone.

“We need our neighbors to step up and take back their neighborhoods,” Klemek said, “That’s been our goal, that continues to be our goal and hopefully we continue to have some success with that this year.”

If you do see or hear someone in your neighborhood shooting fireworks, you can call or text this number set up by Salinas Police: 831-296-3939.

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KION546 News Team

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