Fireworks and gunshots: Officials ask San Diego to be smart, safe this NYE


SAN DIEGO — As we kiss 2020 goodbye, authorities are reminding residents of the consequences when using fireworks and celebrating with gunfire. Both are not only dangerous but illegal.

National City police wouldn’t get specific, but say numerous people are injured and killed each year by stray bullets. The department is deploying extra patrol officers on New Year’s Eve to ensure there are no incidents.

Fireworks are also a major concern for Cal Fire as the Santa Ana winds move throughout the county. 

“The rain was great and we of course love the rain like everybody else but our dispatch levels are still medium today, so that shows the potential is still out there and we still have the potential for fires to take off,” explained Cal Fire Captain Thomas Shoots.

He says no matter how big or how small the firework may be, it doesn’t take a lot to spark a flame.

“Even some of the fireworks that are listed “safe and sane,” here in San Diego County they’ve ruled out that stuff. Because of the fire danger, it doesn’t take a whole lot for that stuff to take off. The moisture is different, and (when) you get that wind component, it creates an environment that could be receptive to a fire,” said Shoots.

He says the Willow, Chaparral and Creek fires prove our risk is still high, even during winter. The Willow Fire was only about 30 acres, but it took off with the winds and destroyed a home.

“It’s kind of a good reminder that the fire doesn’t have to be super huge to be destructive to you and your family,” Shoots said.

Cal Fire says they aren’t calling in any extra staff for New Year’s Eve since there’s no weather watch or red flag warning. That’s in thanks to the rain we got earlier in the week.

As for celebrating with gunfire, National City Police say their goal is not to dampen the spirit of the holiday, but anyone engaging in illegally discharging a firearm will be arrested.

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