New Modesto Fireworks Ordinance Goes into Effect 10 Days After Fourth of July

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MODESTO -- The city of Modesto has a brand new ordinance that will help them combat illegal fireworks.

They can cite property owners $1,000 if any tenant is caught setting off fireworks. But the problem is the ordinance takes effect 10 days after the Fourth of July.

Fireworks straddle a thin line between celebration and danger.

"Gotta keep everybody safe, you know. If you don’t, pretty soon you’ll be lighting off sticks of dynamite,” said Modesto resident Lorenzo Cardenas.

Because of the real dangers illegal fireworks can spark, Modesto has certain rules in place that if caught -- those who light up can face a hefty fine of a thousand bucks.

Another ordinance penalizes property owners, too.

"The new ordinance allows us to write property managers or property owners citations for their tenants using illegal fireworks,” said Fire Marshal Mike Payton with the Modesto Fire Department.

But here's the thing, the new ordinance will take effect 10 days after the Fourth of July, that's July 14th.

"There was just an error in getting the ordinance into council on that 30 day window,” Payton said.

While Payton acknowledges the mistake that was made, he added this may be a good thing to continue to educate property owners.

"Actually, it will give us time to vet this out with the property managers. There has been some feedback from them," he said.

Regardless of when the ordinance takes place, this will always remain true -- the only legal fireworks in Stanislaus County are the "safe and sane" fireworks, always look for this label.

But after July 4th they will be ready and still on the lookout.

The new ordinance would have allowed the fire department to cite property owners even if they are not present when the illegal fireworks are set off.

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