Authorities remind San Diegans that fireworks are illegal

SAN DIEGO — Fireworks and Fourth of July are practically synonymous, but if you’re thinking of firing up a few sparklers think twice: All consumer fireworks are illegal in the City and County of San Diego.

That applies to sparklers, firecrackers, cherry bombs, bottle rockets, even poppers sold at roadside stands — they’re all illegal on this side of the U.S.-Mexico border.

Even those seemingly harmless backyard sparklers can reach 1,000 degrees when ignited, which is why they should not be given to children, Cal Fire officials said.

San Diego Fire-Rescue officials estimate they respond to nearly 500 fireworks incidents annually.

“Understanding the dangers associated with the use of illegal fireworks, or misuse of legal fireworks, is critical to keep everyone safe during the holiday,” Cal Fire Director Chief Ken Pimlott said.

Pimlott said any person who starts a fire from fireworks, even accidentally, “can be held liable for the costs of fighting the fire and any resulting property damage. Using illegal fireworks can lead to a possible fine up to $50,000, as well as jail or prison time up to one year.”

“Please celebrate the holiday safely,” State Fire Marshal Dennis Mathisen said of fireworks. “Remember, if it flies in the air or explodes — it is illegal.”