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Gilroy firefighters were busy on a Fourth of July holiday that saw no major fires or injuries caused by illegal fireworks.

According to city spokesperson Rachelle Bedell, the Gilroy Fire Department responded to eight calls for service involving fires or smoke investigations during Fourth of July activities.

In 2021, firefighters responded to four fires caused by fireworks, compared to nine in 2020.

“Activities on the Fourth kept our team very busy,” Bedell said. “We are grateful that, as of today, we can report no severe fires or injuries in relation to the Fourth of July calls for service involving fires or smoke investigations.

“However, this fire season is only beginning, and we continue to urge all of our residents to avoid any possible activities that might cause a spark.” 

Residents are encouraged to sign up for notices regarding “Local High Fire Risk” days by texting 95020 to the Nixle alert system at 888777. 

The city’s annual professional, licensed fireworks show took place the evening of July 4 at Gilroy High School.

Fireworks are heavily regulated by state and local authorities in California. The pyrotechnic devices have been known to cause out-of-control fires that have destroyed structures and property.

According to Bay City News, throughout the night on July 4, firefighters responded to dozens of fireworks-related fires in Contra Costa County, Vallejo, Oakland and San Francisco.

Data from the Gilroy Police Department regarding citations and arrests for illegal fireworks was not available as of press time.

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Erik Chalhoub joined Weeklys as an editor in 2019. Prior to his current position, Chalhoub worked at The Pajaronian in Watsonville for seven years, serving as managing editor from 2014-2019.


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