Valley News -

Police: Don't light pyrotechnics tonight to celebrate new year


Last updated 12/31/2018 at 11:16am

HEMET - Using any type of pyrotechnic devices to ring in 2019 is against the law and will result in penalties, according to Hemet police.

Lt. Eddie Pust said officers will not hesitate to issue citations to anyone caught igniting fireworks tonight, New Year's Day or any other time.

"Every year, people are seriously injured, property is damaged and often (there's) a greater potential for fires due to the illegal use of fireworks,'' Pust said. "The police and fire departments spend an extraordinary amount of time and resources responding to firework-related incidents that can negatively affect the response times for other serious emergencies.''

In addition to fines, violators' pyrotechnic devices will be seized, and more serious offenders could face arrest, according to Pust.

Hemet's ordinance prohibiting the use of pyrotechnics is similar to Riverside County's.

Under county Ordinance No. 858, fines for illegally storing, transporting or setting off fireworks can range from $500 to $1,000, and any person who triggers a brush fire due to the illegal use of fireworks will be held responsible for all suppression costs.

So-called "safe and sane'' fireworks are permitted for private use in Blythe, Cathedral City, Coachella, Desert Hot Springs and Indio. Those devices generally don't explode or fly.

Hemet police encouraged anyone who witnesses the use of pyrotechnics on New Year's or any other occasion to report it to the public safety dispatch center at (951) 765-2400.


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