This Fourth of July, officials say they want you to have fun celebrating America's independence, but in a safe and legal way. In San Diego County, it is illegal for consumers to have fireworks.
“Please do not take the risk of getting fireworks, bringing them into the county or having your own show in your backyard,” said Kendal Bortisser, a local fire safety expert. “If you get caught there are some pretty hefty fines associated with having fireworks.”
He added if the illegal fireworks start a brush fire, the owner could be responsible for the costs to put it out.
City officials said it is not unusual for people to buy fireworks in Mexico and bring them across the border. They warn this can be very unsafe and even result in injuries.
“We have a lot of extra officers on Independence Day,” said Lieutenant Kevin Mayer with the San Diego Police Department. “We’re going to have a lot of extra patrols to provide safety to the community.”
The Mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti, caused some sparks online when he posted a video to his Twitter about firework safety, which involved using them to blow up a watermelon. Some said it glorified illegal firework use.
There are plenty of places to watch fireworks shows: downtown San Diego, Ocean Beach, Escondido and San Ysidro to name a few.
Lifeguards say it's important to be safe around the ocean if you do spend time at the beach during the holiday.
“This is the biggest day of the year for lifeguards,” said Sergeant Rick Strobel with San Diego Lifeguards. “If you do get caught in a rip current, don’t panic or tire yourself out. Raise your hand and lifeguards will be on the way to get you.”
There are also parades in Scripps Ranch and Coronado. According to the Mayor, the parade down Orange Avenue is expected to bring in half a million people to Coronado this year.