The Fourth of July is going to look distinctly different this year than last. With the state wide re-opening this month allowing for more events and less restrictions, Santa Clara County can expect the holiday weekend to feel somewhat back to normal.
The Santa Clara County fire agencies hope that while the fun is back, the fireworks will take a back seat to the festivities. Last year, the 2020 wild fires caused devastation to Santa Clara County, and fire officials are urging residents to keep fire safety top of mind for the holiday weekend.
“The Bay Area saw a dramatic increase in illegal fireworks during this time last year, resulting in over 30 preventable fireworks-related fires in San Jose alone,” said San Jose Fire Department Fire Chief Robert Rapien Jr. “Deciding to use illegal fireworks is also deciding to put your neighbor’s lives and property at risk. Under current drought conditions, illegal fireworks put the entire community at risk.”
With the current drought conditions in the South Bay, fireworks are extremely risky this year. Fireworks cause on average $105 million in property damage per year, according to the Santa Clara County Fire Department, and endanger thousands of people. This year will be no different, officials said.
“It is absolutely critical that residents understand the extreme risk of fire at a time of the year when the weather is hot and vegetation is susceptible. We know that one spark can have disastrous consequences,” said Santa Clara County Acting fire Chief Brian Glass.
The county is offering several programs to help educate the community on how to stay safe during the holiday weekend and for the remainder of fire season as well. An “It’s Not Worth It” campaign, which began on June 21st, seeks to educate residents on the danger of fireworks, and reminds them that in addition to being dangerous, fireworks are also illegal.
To continue on the momentum created around fire safety this summer, the Santa Clara County Fire Department also announced a free, online disaster preparedness course on Wednesday, July 7th for residents. To enroll, click here.