The Lakeport City Council is set to put forth a final vote on an ordinance that would make the possession, use, and sale of safe and sane fireworks illegal within city boundaries.
The decision to ban fireworks varies through cities and counties throughout the state.
In Lakeport, Ordinance 878, which would amend the municipal code, was introduced to the council last month. It was read on May 5, and was approved 3-2 by the City Council. A final vote will be cast this week.
Janel Chapman, the City Clerk of Lakeport, said that the main reason for the ordinance is fire safety.
“Lakeport is the only city in Lake County to still allow fireworks,” Chapman said. “Our city is going along with other cities in our county.”
Lake County, and neighboring Mendocino County, does not allow fireworks. If the city ordinance passes this week, it will not go into effect for 30 days, Chapman said.
Many cities throughout California have taken different stances on the banning of safe and sane fireworks. The sale of fireworks often is a source of revenue for non-profit organizations, as well as community programs and religious organizations.
The City of Roseville approves the possession and sale of safe and sane fireworks within city limits. Roseville grants 15 permits to non-profit organizations each year to sell fireworks. Yolo County, which has nearly two-dozen non-profit fireworks stands, has also not banned fireworks.
Monterey is one of many cities in California to ban the use of fireworks.
Shannon Beltran, the Parks and Recreation Administrator in Monterey, said the ban of fireworks was due to a concern for public safety. She went on to say that shortly after the ban, Monterey provided a 20-minute fireworks display visible from the beach.
However, Monterey has canceled its fireworks display on July 4 this year.
“Due to the city’s budget, we can’t justify spending almost $150,000 for 20 minutes,” Beltran said.
Along with budget issues, Beltran stated that the nearly 40,000 people who gather for the fireworks display is almost too difficult for the police and fire departments to control.
Redwood City reminded citizens that safe and sane fireworks are banned in the city.
The Redwood City Fire Department claimed, “Fireworks are the primary cause of thousands of fires and injuries throughout the United States each Fourth of July.”
The City Department went on to say, that these fires are preventable if people follow the laws prohibiting fireworks.
Malcolm Smith, Redwood City Director of Parks and Recreations, said that although fireworks are not legal in Redwood City, there is a large festival and gathering every year for a fireworks show put on by private, non-profit organizations.
Grass Valley’s Fire Chief, Tony Clarabut has recommended to the City Council a ban on the possession, sale, and use of fireworks in Grass Valley, according to The Union Newspaper.
Those cities and counties banning fireworks, claim similar reasons as Redwood City. The worry stems from a state in constant danger of wildfires.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger declared last summer that he would not ban fireworks statewide.
According to an article by the Sacramento Bee, Schwarzenegger said, “I do not plan to order a statewide ban of fireworks, but I do encourage fire-affected counties to take a good look at their resources and take the appropriate steps at the local level, including a fireworks ban if necessary, to protect their communities and prevent any further aggravation of our state’s already severe fire situation.”