Morgan Hill Police urge caution as holiday approaches

Fireworks fines can triple during Independence Day celebrations

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Fourth of July fireworks

Coronavirus, illegal fireworks and tripled fines—these are among the potential dangers that might accompany this year’s Fourth of July holiday fun, and Morgan Hill Police are urging residents to celebrate safely and legally.

“We are encouraging everyone to have fun and enjoy your time with your family but also remember to practice social distancing and wear a mask when you are out in public,” reads a June 25 notice from the Morgan Hill Police Department. “It is all our responsibility to do our best to stop the spread of the virus and reduce the curve.”

Police also warned that the use of fireworks can cause accidental fires that can destroy vegetation, homes and other structures. The loud noises can also frighten pets who might run away where they can’t be easily found, and the fire and explosions can result in injuries to people, police added.

“Our surrounding hills are very dry, and every illegal firework poses a significant threat to the safety of our beautiful community,” says the notice from Morgan Hill Police.

Furthermore, police added they will be cracking down on illegal fireworks. The June 25 notice reminds residents that “Safe and Sane” fireworks purchased in other communities are illegal in Morgan Hill.

MHPD takes a “zero tolerance” approach to illegal fireworks, and officers will be patrolling the city “on or around” the Fourth of July looking for violators, police said.

The use or possession of fireworks in Morgan Hill can result in tripled fines between July 1-7, and from Dec. 30-Jan. 2 every year, police said. That means a first violation will cost a $300 fine, a second violation is $600 and a third offense can result in a $1,500 fine.

Santa Clara County’s public health officials continue to prohibit large public gatherings as the Independence Day holiday approaches. As a result, Morgan Hill’s annual Fourth of July parade, street dance, car cruise, fireworks and other events will not take place as they have occurred in previous years.

However, the local nonprofit that orchestrates the events—Independence Day Celebrations—will host virtual celebrations to be broadcast online.