■ By Tom Jones / Contributed
After following California Fire Code for many years and incorporating a 2016 revision, which does not completely prohibit the use of fireworks, the Hemet City Council made a motion on Jan. 22 to pass a complete ban on personal use, sale and possession of fireworks. The revision of the Municipal Code and proposed amendments to the 2016 California Fire Code will prevent direct conflict between the added ban in the Hemet Code and the adopted 2016 California Fire Code.
Citing the city’s location and resulting extreme fire hazards and long and volatile fire season, City Attorney Eric Vail noted that the hazard is dangerous to all residents, not just those possessing and using fireworks. Under the ordinance, passed unanimously last Tuesday evening, the only exceptions are certain business and agriculture purposes as well as licensed and specifically sanctioned pyrotechnic operators.
The ban should give residents some peace of mind come this summer the Fourth of July festivities. Last year, the Hemet Police Department received over 800 calls regarding illegal fireworks on July 4.