Communities Warn Against Illegal Fireworks this Fourth of July

By edhat staff

Fire Departments and City Officials warn against illegal fireworks this Fourth of July holiday.

The Fire Chiefs Association of Santa Barbara County reminds the public that all fireworks, including the so-called “safe and sane“ variety, are illegal in all areas of Santa Barbara County. However, Lompoc and Santa Maria have local rules regarding fireworks within their jurisdiction.

Each July Fourth, thousands of people, most often children and teens, are injured while using legal and illegal fireworks. Despite the dangers of fireworks, few people understand the associated risks- devastating burns, injuries, fires and even death can occur, the Fire Chiefs Association reports. 

It’s recommended that the best way to view fireworks is to attend one of the public fireworks displays conducted by professional pyro technicians. Legal and illegal fireworks put us all at risk because they can easily lead to fires. Especially during our current dry, high fire season conditions. 

The City of Goleta is released a video message featuring Goleta’s Mayor Paula Perotte, Santa Barbara County Fire Chief Mark Hartwig and Goleta Chief of Police Services, Lt. Rich Brittingham urging community members to celebrate Independence Day without illegal fireworks.

To report illegal fireworks, call the non-emergency dispatch line at 805-683-2724. 


CAL FIRE reports State Fire Marshal’s specialized Arson and Bomb Investigators have been providing intelligence and support to local and federal illegal fireworks enforcement efforts over the past few months. These operations have seized tens of thousands of pounds of illegal fireworks.

“Fire conditions are elevated, and the 4th of July, along with the use of fireworks, only increases the risk for wildfires,” said Chief Joe Tyler, CAL FIRE Director and Fire Chief. “It is critical that Californians be vigilant and consider leaving the fireworks to the professionals.”

It is illegal to sell, transport, or use fireworks that do not carry the “Safe and Sane” seal, as well as possess or use fireworks in a community where they are not permitted. If convicted, a violator could be fined up to $50,000, as well as be sent to jail for up to one year. Parents are liable for any damage or injuries caused by their children using fireworks.

Illegal fireworks include:

  • Skyrockets
  • Bottle rockets
  • Roman candles
  • Aerial shells
  • Firecrackers
  • Other fireworks that explode, go into the air, or move on the ground in an uncontrollable manner

“Already this year our Arson and Bomb Investigators and Law Enforcement Officers have been busy assisting with numerous illegal fireworks enforcement operations,” said Chief Mike Richwine, California State Fire Marshal. “We have a zero-tolerance stance toward the use, possession, and transportation of illegal fireworks. Even ‘Safe and Sane’ fireworks are banned in many communities and bring stiff fines for their illegal use.” 

CAL FIRE is offering the public the following fireworks precautions:

  • If using “Safe and Sane Fireworks, first check they are allowed in the area of use.
  • Make sure the firework has the State Fire Marshal “Safe and Sane” seal on it.
  • Have a bucket of water and garden hose available at firing site. During this drought it is recommend you use a bucket of gray/reused water to submerse your firework after its used to fully extinguish it.
  • Read all instructions before use.
  • Never alter, modify, or enhance fireworks – use only in the manner intended.
  • Make sure fireworks have proper clearance from flammable materials including dry grass and brush.

To learn more about fireworks safety, visit 


Edhat Staff

Written by Edhat Staff

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  1. “Fireworks are not fun for pets or people with noise sensitivities”
    *Throws massive fireworks show at the harbor and Girsh yearly*
    Also it’s ridiculous they throw a generic clip of older, decorated veterans on at the post that they mention this. It’s actually insensitive and downright offensive and makes fun of the typical trope of fireworks causing PTSD flashbacks in veterans who have been shelled or close to explosions. It’s seriously a bigoted move on Perrote, Hartwig and Brittonghams part for promoting this type of cottage, and also whoever made the clip. Those people should have to take some basic public outreach courses. I’m surprised she somehow won an election.

  2. I agree sac. It’s ridiculous. We need to loosen up California’s fireworks laws. However, I think there is something special about illegal fireworks that makes the fourth all the more exciting. It seems a fitting way to carry on the spirit of rebellion that led to our country’s creation in the first place.

  3. Is there a non-emergency dispatch number for illegal fireworks for Santa Barbara City? …There have been a lot recently on the eastside, although not the last couple of days with a lot of publicity on NextDoor, and there always are on the 4th by those who prefer to scare their neighbors and neighbors’ pets than go to see the show at the harbor.

  4. SAC, you wildly overestimate the behavior of your fellow humans. Maybe YOU will light them in a parking lot. The average person? Yeah right. There is no good reason to make dangerous fireworks legal, bigger or not. Common sense isn’t that common.

  5. There is nothing harmless or fun about people setting off loud booming fireworks at 11pm, midnight, 1am in a residential neighborhood on a worknight, or any other night. This week is AWFUL, not just for pets but for those of us that want to sleep and not be awakened by booms that rattle our windows. There is nothing fun about it, it’s rude, inconsiderate and harmful. And it also scares many animals, including my dog. Not cool SB

  6. Are you serious? Bigger fireworks = bigger fire risk and louder disruptions. No thank you. It’s crazy how many thank our service members on this day, yet fail to acknowledge the PTSD they have as a result and the massive, sad effect fireworks have on our veterans. Use your common sense and have some compassion. The reasons against bigger fireworks are obvious, numerous, and reasonable.

  7. Scientists are finding unprecedented levels of dryness in plant fauna, a theme that repeats itself nearly every year. We are in a drought. We cannot afford to waste water on preventable fires. Rents are at all time highs, inflation is massive, people cannot afford to lose their homes, even temporarily right now. This is not the time to run some harebrained experiment to get bigger fireworks into the hands of the general public. Be smarter.

  8. “Bigger fireworks = bigger fire risk and louder disruptions. ” – you mean like sparklers and charcoal snakes? That’s all I was talking about.
    Wowzers! Did I hit a nerve expressing my desire to light a sparkler this year? LOL!

  9. 7:32 – Why do you keep saying I’m advocating for “bigger fireworks?” Where did I say anything like that? I’m talking about being able to use the tiny little spark fountains, sparkler sticks, charcoal snakes, 4-second ground flowers, etc.
    I get we’re in a serious drought and high fire season, but do these tiny little things cause fires when lit in parking lots or people’s driveways? No, I don’t think so.

  10. It appears that the City of Goleta has prioritized producing videos and hiring additional staff over maintaining roads and repairing infrastructure (the City of Goleta’s workforce has grown from 74.93 FTE in FY 18-19 to a proposed 114.78 FTE next fiscal year). A significant increase in Goleta’s sales tax is the logical next step.

  11. PETE – I’m pretty sure the City of Goleta is capable of doing more than 1 thing at a time. So funny when people say stuff like this. “Oh look, XYZ was in a parade/video/doing anything other than the one thing I’m concerned about, so they clearly aren’t concerned about anything else.”

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