As Independence Day approaches and things heat up across the Bay Area, East Contra Costa County is hosting its first-ever Fireworks Take Back Program where people can drop off any fireworks, no questions asked.
Antioch residents know first-hand the dangers of fireworks after a field caught fire two weeks ago.
Firefighters believe it’s because someone decided to set fireworks off in the park across the street.
“The back fenced area and the side fence were burned up,” said Kenneth Tyesky, whose home was damaged.
Firefighters said dry grass fueled the flames, likely started by illegal explosives.
“Get the fireworks out of the hands because they’re illegal and you can see the severity these homes behind us could have been burned up,” Tyesky said.
The Fireworks Take Back Program is the first of its kind in Contra Costa County and it’s to prevent these tragedies from happening again.
“You know you may light and think it’s not working but the fuse is burning,” said Matt Foley from the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office. “You go to relight it and it explodes. I’ve responded to calls where we are finding fingers a good distance away from the individual.”
All fireworks are illegal countywide,” and anyone caught with them could face thousands of dollars in fines or even felony charges.
This weekend however, any fireworks can be dropped off with no questions asked.
Tyeskey is glad the event is happening, hoping it keeps his neighborhood from an even bigger disaster.
“No one lost their lives but very damaging and very devastating,” he said.
There are a drop-off events tomorrow at the fire stations in Oakley and Discovery Bay, and another Sunday in Brentwood.
If you can’t make those, the East Contra Costa Fire Prevention District will also accept fireworks until the Fourth of July at all fire stations.
This post was originally posted at http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/East-Contra-Costa-County-Holds-Firework-Take-Back-Program-511980802.html.