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Riverside County Claims Success in Campaign to Prevent Illegal Fireworks

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The County of Riverside is touting its success in preventing Fireworks during the week of the 4th of July. According to information recently released by the county, they seized more than 3,600 pounds of fireworks and saw almost an 80% drop in acreage lost because of firework-related wildfires compared to 2020.

Richard Cordova is a Fire Captain with Riverside County CAL Fire and attributed a lot of the success to the broader publication of potential fines due to fireworks. He also wanted to make sure county residents knew it just wasn’t about the fines either, saying, "People think that, oh it’s only a $1,000 fine, $5,000 fine. Well, if you start a fire, whatever takes place during that incident, if you happen to hurt somebody or kill somebody, you’re going to be charged.”

Captain Cordova also added that his main message to Riverside County residents would be to report illegal firework activity if you do see it. He said, “I think my main message to the residents that see their neighbors or see or hear something of someone buying these fireworks, they need to say something because as you saw in LA and Ontario, where they had those large explosions. That could easily happen next door, to your home.”

The county in total saw a 10% decrease in reports of fireworks and issued 237 citations. Fines for your first offense would be $1,000, $3,000 for your second, $5,000 for your third, and potential jail time if further infractions occurred.

Jonathan Linden was a reporter at 91.9 KVCR in San Bernardino, California. He joined KVCR in July 2021 and served with the station till October 2022.