Fire officials warn private citizens planning own display, Use responsibly


HUMBOLDT COUNTY, Calif. (KIEM) – With Independence Day firework shows canceled on the North Coast, fire officials expect more private citizens planning their own light show.

However, there are laws and safety precautions that should be taken to stay safe when handling fireworks, even some unexpected ones.

Amy Conlin is a community risk reduction specialist with Humboldt Bay Fire.

“We’re still hoping for folks to celebrate this year whether it’s using glow sticks or silly string or noise maker or baking a cake for America’s birthday,” Conlin said. “Whatever it is that they can do to celebrate, we always encourage that over the use of fireworks.”

Fireworks can not be lit or discharged in Old Town, Eureka or on Woodley Island due to the vast amount of construction projects happening in those areas.

Conlin says they expect an influx of “personal use” fireworks and those opting to use them should purchase them from an inspected fireworks booth in the area. 

“Don’t try to any fireworks that shoot off the ground into the sky or explode because those can increase danger expeditiously and just make sure you’re really careful if you have kids or children, even sparklers they get up to sixteen-hundred degrees at the base,” she said. “A quarter of the emergency room visits for fireworks injuries are sparklers.”

Humboldt Bay Fire Chief Battalion Chris Emmons says, with it being an active fire season already this year, those handling fireworks should follow basic safety precautions.”

“There are safe and sane, fireworks that are being sold but you can still misuse them and cause injuries,” said Emmons.

An influx of private firework displays expected amid COVID-19.

Humboldt Bay Fire asks to residents to follow these safety tips:

  • Don’t alter fireworks
  • Use them as instructed
  • Use them in a safe area
  • Have water nearby
  • Have a fire extinguisher nearby
  • Dispose them properly

If the fireworks don’t ignite or malfunction, don’t try to light them after the fuse is burnt out, because that can cause injuries, according to Emmons. Emmons also says you need to always be mindful of where used fireworks are thrown away.

“It’d be safe to put them in a metal trash pail [or] trash can and soak them with water before you put them in the dumpster.”

Colin says there’s always that extra risk on the Fourth of July.

“People are using fireworks and there is always a certain number of mishaps with those,” Conlin said. “So yeah, we’ll be ready.”

Firework’s go on sale from June 28th to July 6th.

A link to an interactive list of registered “Safe & Sane” fireworks booth in the area can be found by clicking here.