Reports of firecrackers and/or fireworks being lit off in Cambria, where the use of any such device is illegal, has sparked an investigation by fire and law enforcement officials.
Residents concerned about Cambria’s trademark Monterey pine forest, especially dry in late fall, immediately took to social media to report the explosions. Some of them subsequently notified the Sheriff’s Office and Cambria Fire Department of what they’d heard for three consecutive nights, usually between 8:30 and 10 p.m.
One person reported finding a spent firecracker on Burton Drive; another was found on Sandown Place. Someone else described seeing sparkles from one of the firings, while others wrote about the “big boom that sounded like a canon” and other noises that “sounded like a gunshot.”
“We all need to be talking to everyone about being on the lookout for who is doing this,” one woman wrote. “If there ever were a fire caused by someone’s joke or stupidity, it is going to affect the whole town. If it’s happening right next door to someone or on the same street, they should be taking note and reporting them immediately.”
As of noon Tuesday, Oct. 15, the most recent fireworks-related call in Cambria was logged in on the Sheriff’s Office dispatch log at 5:14 p.m. Monday.
Fire Chief William Hollingsworth confirmed Tuesday, Oct. 15, that Cambria Fire Department had received a few calls about the firecrackers.
“We are investigating with the Sheriff’s Office,” he said.
Just having fireworks on hand (even the safe and sane ones) is illegal and can lead to a citation and/or fine; shooting them off can increase penalties.
“On this stretch of the coast, in this environment, we’re in fire country,” Dan Falat, superintendent of State Parks’ San Luis Obispo Coast District, said earlier this year. “Winds can kick up at any time and those embers and sparks — even from a sparkler — can be carried for a long way and start a fire.”
Officials ask that anyone who hears or sees the fireworks, or has information about who is using them, call The Sheriff’s Office Dispatch Center non-emergency number at 805-781-4550.