Fireworks OK as long as patriots abide by rules

Fireworks

Gilroy is still the only city in Santa Clara County where
residents can buy and use fireworks, but Fire Marshal Jacqueline
Bretschneider said the community hardly resembles the Wild West
when it comes to the popular, patriotic poppers.
Gilroy is still the only city in Santa Clara County where residents can buy and use fireworks, but Fire Marshal Jacqueline Bretschneider said the community hardly resembles the Wild West when it comes to the popular, patriotic poppers.

Police and fire officials are stressing “safe and sane” use of legal fireworks this Fourth of July, and those who don’t comply could face up to a $1,000 fine, jail time or both, Bretschneider said.

Residents can purchase legal fireworks from July 1 through 4 at 16 city-approved booths run by nonprofit groups around Gilroy.

“But there are a lot of illegal fireworks out on the market,” Bretschneider said. “Anything that flies through the air or explodes is not going to be licensed in the state of California.”

And once the clock strikes midnight July 5, all fireworks – even the legal ones – must be put away. Those caught using illegal fireworks or using legal fireworks in restricted areas could receive misdemeanor citations, fines or jail time, Bretschneider said.

“And you will have to go to court,” she added.

Residential parties with revelers shooting off illegal fireworks can also be slapped with administrative citations, which carry penalties of $250.

Last year, the Gilroy Police Department received more than 200 calls complaining of illegal fireworks between 9 p.m. and 11:59 p.m. July 4. Nine extra officers are expected to be on patrol, according to the GPD.

Residents cannot use fireworks in these restricted areas: Country Estates II and III (streets up Mantelli from Rancho Hills Drive); Carriage Hills (Colony, Carriage, Crest Hill, Valley Oaks, Saffron, Lavender, Wild Iris, Foxglove); Carriage Court (Acorn, Hemlock and cul-de-sacs); Eagle Ridge and Forest subdivisions; Hecker Pass west of Santa Teresa; Mesa Ridge (all streets off San Justo); Mesa Ranch (all streets west of Mesa Road, not including Mesa itself); Rancho Real Drive (south of Welburn); city parks, parking lots, Gilroy Unified School District or Gavilan College facilities.

Gilroy fireworks show

– 9:30 p.m. Monday, July 4

– Gilroy High School – can be viewed also at Christmas Hill Park and surrounding areas

– Show length: 20 minutes

– Number of fireworks: more than 400

View Fireworks booths in Gilroy in a larger map

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