Gilroy is only city in county to allow fireworks


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“Safe and sane” fireworks are legal in Gilroy, but with many important safety and fire prevention restrictions.

Gilroy is the only city in Santa Clara County that allows the sale and use of “safe and sane” fireworks.

Fireworks purchased in Gilroy can’t be taken to any other city or unincorporated areas of Santa Clara County.

A public fireworks display will be held on the Gilroy High School baseball field at 10th and Uvas Park Drive on Wednesday, July 4, from approximately 9 to 10pm. In previous years there were about 400 fireworks set off during a 20-minute display.

No personal “safe and sane” fireworks can be set off at this location, city police said.

City officials reminded the public this week that “safe and sane” fireworks can only be used from Sunday, July 1, through Wednesday, July 4 at midnight.

“Safe and sane” fireworks are approved by the state fire marshal and do not leave the ground or explode. All other fireworks are considered dangerous and illegal, officials warned, and use of these is a violation of state law and Gilroy city codes.

Just 16 community groups have permits for sale from licensed booths only. There will be police patrols on July 4 to issue citations for illegal use. Citizens are advised to call 408-846-0350 to report illegal fireworks.

Fireworks are to be purchased and used by Gilroy residents only, and purchasers may be asked to show proof of residence at the time of purchase.

Booths that knowingly sell to persons out of town may have their permit revoked and booth closed.

It is not legal to use these “safe and sane” fireworks in any public area, such as city parks, schools, or in commercial center parking lots.

Fire officials advise that only adults should be lighting fireworks, and only in front of their home, in their driveway or in the street in front of their home.

In addition, all “safe and sane” fireworks are prohibited in these hillside neighborhoods because of high fire danger:

Country Estates II and III, including Mantelli, uphill from Rancho Hills Drive, Carob, Columbine, Country, Banyan, Foxglove, Gunerra, Larkspur, Lavender, Hollyhock, Hoya, Mimosa, Olea, Periwinkle, Saffron, Stonecress, Strawberry, Sunflower, Tea Tree and Wild Iris.

Eagle Ridge subdivision, including all sections of Eagle Ridge, including Creekside.

Forest subdivision, including Rancho Real Drive, south (uphill) from its intersection with Welburn Avenue.

Hecker Pass, west of Santa Teresa.

Third Street, west of Santa Teresa, including all Heartland subdivisions

Carriage Hills subdivision west of Rancho Hills Drive, including Carriage, Colony, Crest Hill, Kestrel Dove and Valley Oaks (Rancho Hills Drive is OK).

Carriage Court development (Acorn and Hemlock and cul-de-sacs off these streets).

Areas south of Hecker Pass and West of Santa Teresa, including Mesa Ridge, Casita, Cajon, Los Arboles and San Justo.

Mesa Ranch subdivision west of Mesa Road, including Christine, Cargnane, Dawn, Lisa, Karen, Michelle, Nicole and Susan (On Mesa is OK).

Arrowhead and Longmeadow Courts (uphill from Rancho Hills). (On Rancho Hills is OK.)

Miller between Portrush to Mesa (Masoni Place is OK).

The Gilroy Police Department this week announced its partnership with FOREalert, a free smartphone app that allows for real-time, instant communication with officers who are assigned to work illegal fireworks enforcement.

Citizens are encouraged to download this free app and use it to report illegal fireworks on July 4, between 6 p.m. and midnight. The app will be monitored only during this time period.

Citizens have the option to provide their contact information or stay completely anonymous, since no registration, login or contact information is required to use the app. The app can be downloaded at the app store for iOS and Android devices. Location services must be turned on to use the FOREalert app.

FOREalert uses devices’ GPS to access the user’s general location and elevation. The app allows users to add information to help the officers pinpoint where the violation is occurring. Reports on the app go directly to the fireworks team.

Citizens can still report illegal fireworks using 911 for emergencies and 408-846-0350 non-emergencies. The app is the preferred method of reporting fireworks, police said.

Here are non-profit firework booths in Gilroy that sell safe and sane fireworks:

  • Apostolic Assembly Church, 7150 Camino Arroyo
  • Christian School Parents Club, 8220 Monterey St.
  • Community Agency for Resources Advocacy and Services (CARAS), 211 First St.
  • El Camino Club (C.H.P.), 971 First St.
  • Gavilan College RAM Football Boosters, 1210 First St.
  • Gilroy Elks Lodge #1567, 280 10th St.
  • Gilroy HS Cheerleaders Boosters, 7940 Monterey St.
  • Gilroy HS Quarterback Club, 401 E 10th St. Chestnut Square
  • Gilroy HS Wrestling, 8850 San Ysidro Ave.
  • Gilroy Little League Ball Park Fund, 691 First St.
  • Gilroy Police Officers Association, 8400 Church St.
  • Gilroy Pop Warner Football, 190 Welburn Ave.
  • Gilroy Youth Football Cheerleaders, 80 10th St.
  • South County Baseball Boosters, 6735-3755 Camino Arroyo
  • Stick and Move Boxing, 1425 First St.
  • Victory Outreach, 435 First St.