Yreka extends ban on sale and use of fireworks

The threat of fire will once again prevent the sale and use of fireworks this summer in Yreka.

The city council reaffirmed an existing ban on fireworks at Tuesday’s meeting. The council will seek advice from its legal adviser on banning the sale and use of fireworks until the end of the year. However, an existing break put in place last summer will continue.

“It’s been dry, and we’re planning to have it warmer earlier and drier earlier than usual,” Yreka Volunteer Fire Department chief Jerry Lemos told city council in his recommendation. to maintain the ban on fireworks.

“What we’ve had recently, if we could sustain this for a few weeks, we probably wouldn’t have nearly the worry that we have now,” the chief added, commenting on the welcome string of storms to pass through the region. this month.

The January to March period marked the fifth driest period on record for Yreka, after 87 years of record keeping, according to the National Weather Service, creating another dry winter and setting the stage for what fire experts say will likely be an active fire season in the Northern State.

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Traditionally, a number of organizations have turned to fireworks sales as a fundraising opportunity. City officials wanted to make the decision to uphold the ban as soon as possible, to give the groups room to make other plans.

“It can be a primary source of revenue, and you hate cutting it at the last minute,” Mayor Duane Kegg said, drawing attention to last year’s decision to ban fireworks, which were criticized for not having been done sooner.

“Let’s be clear on this. Because I think we made a big mistake last year, waiting until June and July to take action,” Councilman Paul McCoy said, as he urged a complete “ban” on fireworks until at the end of this year.

The board will use this stronger language at a future meeting. However, for now, the “delay” on fireworks sales and usage will continue until further notice.

“I think it’s the only safe thing for the community to do,” Kegg said.

Other towns in the region, such as Dunsmuir, Mount Shasta and Weed, have taken similar action.

Fireworks, which require a special permit, may still be allowed. However, a red flag warning could abruptly cancel that event, Lemos said.

“That way people still have something to celebrate. And we can do it safely. We can control that much better,” Lemos said.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, commonly referred to as Cal Fire, oversees regulations controlling the sale and use of fireworks in incorporated parts of the county.

Skip Descant is a freelance journalist. He writes for newspapers in California, Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana. He lives in downtown Yreka.

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