Mariposa Fire

Safety Urged for 4th of July Weekend

For some Valley residents, the weekend can’t come soon enough.

Fireworks sales are underway, and people are preparing for 4th of July festivities and spending money on fireworks to celebrate.

Although fireworks are a 4th of July tradition, the drought year is bringing in safety considerations.

"When our patrons come up and buy fireworks from our stand, we actually emphasize the safety this year for the dry conditions," said Dan Gonchoroff, who is helping to run a fireworks stand at Clovis and Shaw.

He’s at the Parker’s Team fireworks stand. There, a safety flyer with tips is posted for customers to take notice.

"If they’re going to do it (light fireworks) in the streets, stay far away from any dry grasses," Gonchoroff said.

Among the tips–mot only staying away from surfaces that can catch fire, but proper disposal of fireworks.

Customer Christy Hernandez and her family know the drill.

"I got two, three buckets–I fill it up halfway with water," Hernandez said, explaining that she has water buckets on standby when using fireworks.

This year, the cities of Fresno and Clovis are relaxing their water restrictions Saturday from 8 p.m. until midnight for all residents, regardless of their addresses and watering schedule.

They’re encouraging residents to water their grass before using fireworks so that their grass is damp.   

And to keep the holiday celebrations fun and safe, Fresno police are also preparing for the weekend, urging people not to drink and drive.

"Number one, you can hurt somebody, and you can never take that back," said Lt. Joe Gomez with the Fresno Police Department. "You lose your license, you got to go to classes all the time–it’s just not worth it at all."

More officers will be on the streets this weekend, made possible with a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety.

"Ten of our motor officers will be working on overtime as part of that grant on a saturation detail looking for DUI drivers," Gomez said.

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