This year’s Independence Day celebrations will be different in many ways, but local fireworks sales are unaffected by the pandemic.
Legal fireworks sales will get started Sunday at noon with people from local nonprofits staffing booths across Tracy for the week leading up to the Fourth of July.
At last week’s Tracy City Council meeting, city officials discussed plans for the annual fireworks show over the old Heinz factory, which is cosponsored by the city and Tracy Chamber of Commerce. That show starts at 9:20 p.m. July 4, and people who can’t see it from home can watch on the city’s Facebook page or Channel 26 (AT&T Channel 99).
Parks & Recreation Director Brian MacDonald also confirmed that San Joaquin County’s public health officials would allow fireworks sales booths in the city.
“Another opportunity for families and for residents to enjoy the holiday in the safety of their own home,” he said.
The people who work in those booths are expected to follow guidance from the state — using social distancing and wearing face coverings — to protect themselves and their customers from the virus that causes COVID-19.
A lottery in January selected 10 nonprofits out of 46 groups that applied to sell state-approved “safe and sane” fireworks as a fundraiser. The selected nonprofits completed a permitting process and safety training and will be able to sell fireworks from noon to 8 p.m. Sunday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on the Fourth of July.
Under city law, discharging safe and sane fireworks is allowed between noon and 10 p.m. Sunday through Friday and from noon to midnight on the Fourth of July. Setting off any fireworks outside those times is illegal.
Resident should take safety precautions when using fireworks:
- Have a water source, such as a hose or a bucket of water, within 100 feet.
- Keep a safe distance between fireworks and onlookers.
- Light fireworks one at a time.
- Keep fireworks away from dry grass or other materials that might burn.
- Never point fireworks toward anyone.
- Put used fireworks into a bucket of water.
Safe and sane fireworks stay on the ground and do not explode, though they can cause burns if mishandled. They are marked with the state fire marshal’s seal.
Fireworks that blow up or fly into the air are illegal. That includes firecrackers, torpedoes, sky rockets, bottle rockets, flying spinners and roman candles.
From Friday through Monday, the Tracy Police Department received 87 calls about illegal fireworks going off in neighborhoods across Tracy.
To report the use or possession of illegal fireworks, Tracy residents can call the police department at 831-6550. People can also report the sale of illegal fireworks to Tracy Crime Stoppers at 831-4847 or www.tracycrimestoppers.com.
All fireworks, even those sold legally in Tracy, are illegal to use outside city limits in unincorporated parts of the county, including Banta and Mountain House. County residents can call the sheriff's office at 468-4400 to report the use or misuse of fireworks.