With Fourth of July quickly approaching, San Jose’s night skies have been lit up by illegal fireworks over the last few weeks.
The uptick has led the city to roll out its annual “Just Not Worth It” campaign, which discourages residents from shooting off illicit fireworks to prevent fires and injuries.
Fireworks start an average of 19,500 fires a year with most being classified as brush, grass or forest fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Those fires annually cause about five deaths, 46 injuries and $105 million in property damage.
“San Jose experienced several fireworks-related fires during this time last year,” San Jose Fire Department Chief Robert Sapien Jr. said in a recent news release. “We’re asking for our community’s compliance and encouraging residents to use our online reporting tool, which will assist the city with taking enforcement actions.”
Residents can report firework violations through the city's “Snap, Click and Report” portal or by calling 408.535.5600 or 311.
Reports filed last year resulted in two arrests and eight citations. The fines for using fireworks are $500 for the first violation, $700 for the second and $1,000 for the third. Selling illicit fireworks can result in a fine of up to $50,000 as well as jail time.