Open Mic: Fireworks a No-No This Fourth of July

It goes without saying that fireworks and droughts do not go well together, but the Marin County Fire Department is saying it anyway. A gently floating ember touching down on Marin’s parched landscape could result in widespread tragedy.

Americans missed the chance last year to really celebrate the Fourth of July in style because of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the most raucous and rambunctious revelers might be tempted this year to bring fireworks into Marin and commence with risky activities, fueled by alcohol consumption.

Fireworks are illegal in Marin County. Many locals know that and adhere to the law, but holiday visitors might not know. The fireworks ordinance will be enforced to reduce fire risk, protect natural resources and—most importantly—to preserve personal safety. The Marin County Sheriff’s Office plans to have extra deputies on duty for enforcement over the holiday.

Nonetheless, the Marin County Fire, the Sheriff’s Office and rangers from Marin County Parks are joining first responders from local agencies to prepare for a summer coming-out party. All illegal activities and behavior issues witnessed by Marin County Parks rangers will be reported to law enforcement or fire agencies, and enforcement will take place whether or not an incident takes place on private property or at a County government property. A misdemeanor offense of using or possessing fireworks in Marin could cost an offender $410.

Even if temperatures are not high, beaches and pools are expected to be popular gathering spots during the holiday weekend. Lapses in water safety may occur during shoreline excursions or poolside celebrations. Parents need to make sure kids are water safe around all bodies of water, from the Pacific Ocean to San Francisco Bay to wading pools. Adults need to avoid distractions—including overindulging in alcoholic beverages—as they keep an eye on youngsters. Drowning continues to be a leading cause of injury and death for children ages 1–4. Wearing life jackets and having other floatation devices handy is a must.

This Open Mic was submitted on behalf of the Marin County Fire Department. We welcome your contribution. To have your topical essay of 350 words considered for publication, write [email protected]
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