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Caution Urged Over Central And South Coast "Safe And Sane" Firework Sales

Home fireworks illegal in most Central and South Coast communities

Caution is being urged over "safe and sane" fireworks sold locally in some communities on the Central and South Coasts this July 4th weekend.

Many of us associate 4th July weekend with fireworks, with some organized displays returning this year.

Some communities in our region also have so-called safe and sane fireworks available to buy and caution is being urged by the region’s fire chiefs.

Nick and Joanne are choosing fireworks with their two sons, Porter and Nate, from a stand in Fillmore, at the side of the main road. They chose not to tell me their last name.

They say they are looking for something "loud, bright and cheap", and have a budget around $100.

They're buying from one of a number of fireworks stands in the community which sells so-called safe and sane fireworks at this time of year.

That’s the term for fireworks which are sold for personal and home firework displays throughout California.

Local fire officials say they’d urge people to opt to attend an organized firework display this weekend instead of buying their own.

Captain Brian McGrath from Ventura County Fire told KCLU that when it comes to fireworks, what happens in Fillmore – stays in Fillmore.

"We recommend that you view fireworks from a professional display," he told KCLU.

"Fireworks are illegal in Ventura County, Fireworks purchased in the City of Fillmore must stay in Fillmore only, " he said.

McGrath said that safety is their priority, and concerns are high because of the risk of brush fires and injuries.

For many residents of Fillmore, selling fireworks is a tradition which spans decades and raises money for local good causes.

Janey Brunton-Munoz is a volunteer, manning the stand which raises funds for Fillmore High School Band Boosters.

"It is the biggest fundraiser of the year for most of the organizations," she explained.

"There is a limited commercial base here so there isn't a whole lot of people to go asking money from. It's critical we raise the money," she said.

Safe and sane fireworks are illegal in most of the region, Fillmore is the only community on the South Coast where they are allowed, and on the Central Coast, they’re allowed in Lompoc, Santa Maria, Guadalupe, Arroyo Grande, Grover Beach and Oceano.

Caroline won an LA Press Club Award in 2021 for Use Of Sound. However, she started her broadcasting career in the UK, working on both radio and television for the BBC, 95.8 Capital FM and Sky News and was awarded the Prince Philip Medal for her services to radio and journalism. She moved to Los Angeles in 2013 and is both an American and British citizen. Caroline lives in Agoura Hills with her daughter, and joined the KCLU team in 2020.