Recent wildfires have sparked the interest of local communities who are concerned about upcoming Fourth of July celebrations.

The combination of fireworks and high temperatures may lead to repeats of the Perkins Fire, which burned 14,988 acres, cost an estimated $4.7 million to fight, injured two firefighters and destroyed seven buildings in New Cuyama before it was finally contained last week.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CDF) does not permit the use of fireworks that the State Fire Marshal has not approved. Permitted fireworks bear a “safe and sane” seal; any other fireworks are illegal to use or possess. CDF offers this general rule for identifying illegal fireworks: if it flies through the air or explodes, it’s illegal.

“Safe and sane” fireworks are legal in Arroyo Grande, Grover Beach, Oceano, San Miguel and Templeton. The use or possession of fireworks anywhere else in the county may result in criminal citations or arrests, possibly including felony charges.

Fountains, sparklers, spinners, smoke items, strobes, wheels, snappers, caps and novelty fireworks that don’t travel are usually considered “safe and sane” fireworks. Firecrackers, mines, missiles, shells, aerial cakes, rockets, flying spinners and roman candles aren’t generally considered legal in California.

More information on “safe and sane” fireworks can be found at

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