Fire officials warn of dry conditions

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This year, in addition to warnings against the use of illegal fireworks, both Garden Grove police and fire departments are cautioning fireworks users to be especially aware of an increased fire danger due to dry surroundings.

Browning turf and dried trees, shrubbery, and landscapes — the result of tightened water restrictions —have created hazardous fire conditions. Flames, sparks, and even heat coming from extinguished fireworks are strong reasons for concern.

This year, in addition to warnings against the use of illegal fireworks, both Garden Grove police and fire departments are cautioning fireworks users to be especially aware of an increased fire danger due to dry surroundings.

Browning turf and dried trees, shrubbery, and landscapes — the result of tightened water restrictions —have created hazardous fire conditions. Flames, sparks, and even heat coming from extinguished fireworks are strong reasons for concern.

“As the weather heats up and the grass and brush get drier, it's important that we all do our part to prevent fires. Use safe and sane fireworks only with adult supervision and report illegal fireworks to the authorities. Your Fire Department is committed to yours and your family's safety,” said Fire Chief Tom Schultz.

During the upcoming Independence Day holiday weekend, the police and fire departments will, again, increase their patrols to identify violators of the city’s municipal code on fireworks.  Using or possessing illegal fireworks, including misusing or tampering with legal ones, carries a $1,000 administrative fine.

Last year, the Police Department issued 51, $1,000 administrative citations, down four from 2013.  The highest number of $1,000 citations, 126, were written in 2007, the first year that the $1,000 administrative citation was put into place.

Police patrols will again focus on high-activity illegal fireworks areas including Katella Street, between Euclid and Brookhurst; Dino Circle; Garden Grove Park; and the Buena-Clinton neighborhood.

All city parks will close by 5 p.m. on July 4.  Park tennis courts, basketball courts, and softball fields will also be locked by 5 p.m.  Park sprinkler systems will be activated at 6 p.m. 

Garden Grove firework sales take place from July 1 through July 4.  Hours are: 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., July 1 through 3; and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on July 4.

In accordance with Garden Grove Municipal Code firework regulations, discharge of safe and sane fireworks is permissible on private property only.

For more information, call the Garden Grove Fireworks Hotline at 714-741-5270, or visit the City of Garden Grove or Garden Grove Fire Department Facebook page.  For July 4 safety tips, visit the city’s website at www.ci.garden-grove.ca.us.