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Riverside County Launches Multi-Agency Campaign to Combat Illegal Fireworks

“If You Light it, We’ll Write It”

Following the excessive and hazardous display of illegal fireworks in 2020, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors launched a multi-agency fireworks education and enforcement campaign to curb the dangerous and illegal activity.

This effort to combat the sale, transportation and use of illegal fireworks will include public service announcements, billboards, road signs, vehicle clings and social media messaging. County departments collaborating on this new initiative include the Sheriff’s Department, Fire Department, Code Enforcement, Animal Services, Riverside University Health System and Veterans Services.

"This multi-agency effort provides the public with a clear message, 'If You Light it, We'll Write It,'” said Supervisor Kevin Jeffries, First District. “Sheriffs deputies, fire peace officers, and code enforcement will write citations for those using illegal fireworks."

The campaign slogan will be highly visible in the campaign materials and references the steeper fines for those found with illegal fireworks.

In May, the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved elevating the county fire chief's authority to oversee the use and sale of licensed fireworks. This authority also increased the penalties associated for those who light illegal fireworks in the unincorporated areas. Under Riverside County Ordinance 858, higher fines will be issued between $1,000 - $5,000 depending on the number of violations a person has had over three years.

By local ordinance, the California approved “safe and sane” fireworks are only permitted within the city limits of Indio, Coachella, Blythe and Desert Hot Springs.

"Fireworks can cause serious, lifelong injuries and can even kill. Fireworks also spark structural and wildland fires that destroy property," said Riverside County Fire Chief Bill Weiser. "In addition to imposed fines, anyone who causes a wildland fire by using fireworks will be held responsible for all suppression costs and damages."

Residents can report illegal fireworks by downloading the Riverside County Sheriff’s app, website, or calling their non-emergency toll-free number at (800) 950-2444.

Visit one of the many public and professional fireworks shows offered to our residents and visitors. To locate a show near you, please visit www.rvcfire.org.