The Fourth of July is on the horizon and that means Pacifica is once again the place for many Bay Area fireworks fans to get their fix. That doesn’t mean it’s open season for any fireworks in the city.
Pacifica Police Chief Daniel Steidle reminds the public that only “Safe and Sane” fireworks bearing an official seal from the California fire marshal are legal in the city, and only then during certain times. And just because the city is one of the few in the region to allow sales of the fireworks, that doesn’t mean all fireworks are legal here.
“Illegal fireworks have long been a problem in Pacifica,” he said in a prepared release issued in advance of the holiday. “We hear each year from community members who prefer to leave town for the holiday rather than listen to the illegal firework activity in their neighborhoods. Those who selfishly choose to discharge illegal fireworks show no regard for their fellow neighbors, veterans suffering from PTSD and pets, who are all sensitive to the noise associated with this illegal activity.”
He says the Police Department has “zero tolerance” for flouting local rules. Firing Safe and Sane products is only legal in the city limits from noon to 11 p.m. on June 28, and from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. from June 29 to July 5. Violations of the Pacifica Municipal Code regulating the use of Safe and Sane fireworks can result in fines ranging from $200 for a first offense, $400 for a second offense, and $1,000 for a third offense. Using illegal fireworks can cost $1,000 and up to six months in jail.
In addition, in 2017 the City Council passed an ordinance allowing $1,000 fines for hosts of gatherings that do not obey the rules.
Local nonprofits say sales of fireworks are an important source of revenue. However, they can be dangerous, particularly in the midst of a hot, dry summer when fireworks can spark wildfire.