What does the Fourth of July mean to you? For me, it means celebrating our Country, our freedom, our patriotism. This time of year is one of my favorites. Our Santa Clarita streets are lined with the stars and stripes blowing in the breeze next to the images of our active duty Hometown Heroes. The Fourth of July Parade means coming together as a community in the morning and then spending the rest of the day with our friends and families as we wait for the sun to set and the fireworks from Westfield Valencia Town Center to light up the sky.
While I look forward to these events with much anticipation and joy – I know the days and nights before and after the Fourth of July, can be very frustrating for residents. I regularly hear complaints from the community about the number of people setting off illegal fireworks. I’ve experienced it myself, the loud explosions echoing across the valley in the late evenings, well past midnight, leading up to the holiday.
Fireworks of any kind are illegal and are a violation of the Santa Clarita Municipal Code, Health and Safety Code and Los Angeles County Fire Code. Those found guilty of a violation will be cited, fined between $500 and $1,000 and have their illegal fireworks confiscated by the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.
Besides the threat of a fine – the bigger threat is to you, those near you and our hillsides which are blanketed with dry brush following the wet winter. Fireworks can cause severe burns, lost limbs and even death. Besides causing physical harm – fireworks greatly increase the risk of both structure and wildland fires. We’ve already had several fires over the last month and with the heat of summer just kicking in, more are sure to come.
I encourage all of you to leave the fireworks to the professionals. Even fireworks labeled “Safe and Sane” can be dangerous. In our City it is illegal to possess, sell or use any type of fireworks, this includes sparklers, snaps and smoke balls, and any item that explodes.
If you see someone setting off illegal fireworks – I encourage you to report it by calling the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station at (661) 255-1121. Please do not dial 9-1-1 to report illegal fireworks unless it is a life-threatening emergency. The City is offering a cash reward, up to $500, for any information that leads to a citation for illegal fireworks use.
We want everyone in our community to be able to enjoy this patriotic holiday. Illegal fireworks can be traumatizing to our veterans and pets. Please plan on viewing the professional show from Westfield Valencia Town Center, which will be lighting up the sky starting at 9:15 p.m., on the Fourth of July.
For more information on fireworks safety, how to protect your pets or details regarding fireworks regulations, please visit santa-clarita.com/Fireworks. I wish you, and your loved ones, a happy and safe Fourth of July.