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CAL FIRE says even ‘safe and sane’ fireworks pose a danger in the dry hot heat

SALINAS, Calif. (KION) - The heat, dry conditions and fireworks are all a concern for the risk of fires this week.

CAL FIRE says that already this year we are seeing a 6,000% increase in fire activity compared to this time last year.

Fireworks plus a heatwave this week equal high fire danger on the central coast.

"The heat that is here with the holiday -- temperatures of 100 degrees, windy and then mix that with potential sparks in the grass. We are prepared for definitely a busy week ahead," said Josh Silvera with CAL FIRE.

With the Fourth of July a couple of days away, firework stands could be seen setting up Tuesday morning with people outside waiting to get their hands on these safe and sane fireworks.

"I always use safe and sane fireworks, they're safer. These, in particular, don't make any noise, which I love because they won't scare [people]. They won't scare the cats. And they don't risk burning anyone's house down," said Noel Ochoa, who lives in Salinas.

With the triple-digit heat expected in many parts of the Central Coast this week, Silvera says even safe and sane fireworks are sparking concerns.

If you choose to light one up, CAL FIRE recommends doing it away from homes and dry grass.

"There are several safe and sane firework booths throughout the county. But even those have the potential to be bad if used in the wrong areas. If they find that receptive field bed, you're just asking for a fire to start," said Silvera.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 9,700 injuries and eight deaths were caused by fireworks last year.

One of the firework stands in Salinas has already sold $17,000 worth of safe and sane fireworks.

Although they do pose a Risk, Noel says she’s using extra precautions.

"We have a home, too. And I just don't want anything to happen to us or our neighbors or anybody or my little son," said Noel Ochoa.

CAL FIRE says they have responded to 67 fires so far this year, far busier than usual.

They will be fully staffed with additional resources for this week.

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Dania Romero

Dania Romero is an reporter at KION News Channel 46.


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