KCFD: ‘You light it, we write it’

Kern County Fire Dept. issues fireworks warning, urges citizens to report illegal use

KCFD: ‘You light it, we write it’By REBECCA NEIPP

News Review Staff Writer

Kern County Fire Department and Kern County Sheriff’s Office will once again team up this weekend to prevent the possession and use of illegal fireworks use, according to a press release.

The sheriff’s office noted that it has received numerous reports of illegal fireworks use. “Please do not call 9-1-1 to report illegal fireworks unless there is a fire or an injury,” said a KCSO spokesperson.

“These types of non-emergency calls tie up the 9-1-1 line so that other emergencies cannot be reported.

Instead, those reports can be made at kerncountyfire. org or by calling 661-324-6551.

“The possession and use of illegal fireworks poses a great safety risk to those who store them, handle them and light them,” said a KCFD official.

“The intention of our ‘You Light it, We Write It’ campaign is to educate the community on the dangers and fines that are associated with using illegal fireworks.

“Illegal fireworks can cause great bodily injury and death. The fines begin at $1,500 for the first violation, $2,000 for the second violation and $2,500 for the third.”

Although Ridgecrest is not within the “Wildland Urban” areas of Kern, where fireworks are banned, Ridgecrest is not immune to the risks associated with careless use of “Safe and Sane” fireworks.

KCFD said that anyone exercising lawful use of approved fireworks should still take precautions to reduce the risks of personal injury and property damage.

Having a hose or bucket of water for expired fireworks is highly recommended. Users are also urged to light fireworks only in areas that are clear of dry gras, bushes, fences and buildings, and keeping children clear of the lighting area.

“The use of ‘Safe and Sane’ fireworks are permitted on private property only,” said a KCFD official.

Officials also urged residents to take precautions to protect animals while community members participate in Fourth of July celebrations.

“An unfortunate result of firework activity every year is an increase in the number of calls received for injured, loose and lost animals,” said an official of Kern County Animal Services.

For additional information related to the safe use of fireworks, visit youlightitwewriteit.com.

Pictured: A Kern County firefighter extinguishes a recent brush fire — one of the risks of illegal fireworks — in Ridgecrest. — Photo by Laura Austin

Story First Published: 2020-07-03