Riverside County Fire, Law and Code Enforcement officials would like to remind residents and visitors that fireworks are illegal in Riverside County, meaning that you may not sell, purchase, transport, store or use fireworks in the county.

The cities of Blythe, Coachella, Cathedral City, Desert Hot Springs and Indio are the only cities that allow the sale and use of State Fire Marshal approved “Safe and Sane” fireworks. Fireworks purchased in these cities must not be transported, used or possessed outside of the cities in which they were purchased.

All fireworks, including sparklers, are illegal in Riverside County because they cause serious injuries and very often start fires.

Anyone causing a wildland fire by using illegal fireworks will be held responsible for all fire suppression costs. These costs can run into the millions of dollars.

Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, CAL FIRE/Riverside County Fire Department law enforcement officers and Riverside County Code Enforcement aggressively enforce Riverside County Ordinance 858, as well as other laws pertaining to the sale, transport, manufacturing, storage and use of illegal fireworks. Protecting the safety of the public is a top priority and enforcement agencies have a “zero tolerance” policy with regard to citizens in possession of illegal fireworks. Those caught with illegal fireworks will be subject to fines, citation and/or arrest. All illegal fireworks will be confiscated.

“In recent weeks, firefighters have already responded to vegetation fires caused by fireworks. Fortunately, these fires were small in nature but had the potential of becoming quite large. There are several July 4th holiday celebrations and fireworks shows throughout the county. For your safety and enjoyment, please leave the fireworks to the professionals,” said Riverside County Fire Chief John R. Hawkins.

Please visit the county fire department’s website at www.rvcfire.org and follow the link to view a list of approved public fireworks shows for the 2011 July 4th holiday weekend.