In the Coachella Valley, fireworks are only legal in Indio, Cathedral City, Coachella and Desert Hot Springs. That does not stop locals from buying them in one city where it is legal and using them at another city where it is illegal.
Andre Alvarado and his family are selling fireworks for the very first time at a stand on the corner of Highway 111 and Date Palm in Cathedral City. They are raising funds for the PSCC Indians, a football and cheer league in Cathedral City and Palm Springs.
Alvarado said sales have been pretty good and remain hopeful for sales to go up on the 4th of July.
“During the first five days it’s been pretty steady,” he said.
As a vendor, Alvarado is not required to ask his customers what city they live in or where they are going to use the fireworks. He said he knows that not all of his customers are from Cathedral City,
“Some are from cities in the valley. Yes. we don’t know that, but I’m pretty sure they are local,” Alvarado said. “They come from other cities and want to take them home to their kids. They’ll get small ones so you don’t see them over the fence.”
Firework sales are legal in Cathedral City, so this little league is not breaking any rules.
“We just tell people to be safe and responsible,” he said.
Although the fireworks can only be used in some cities, in practice, someone can buy the fireworks and use them at a friend’s house located in a city where they are legal.
Chief Battalion Robert Allison from the Cathedral City Fire Department said there is no tracking system to verify the sales of fireworks.
“Once you buy those fireworks from those stands, the fire department and the city don’t really have any control over it,” he said.
That does not mean you can not get in trouble for using fireworks illegally on the fourth of July.
“The police department has brought on additional personal, and the code of enforcement personal will be patrolling,” Allison said. “They’re out in certain neighborhoods, and if they see something aerial or hear something explode , they’ll try to track that down.”
If caught the fines will vary on each city’s regulations or the damage caused by the fireworks.
Alvarado and his family live in Cathedral City and say they plan to purchase their own fireworks for the fourth of July.
Regardless of where you use your fireworks, the fire department recommends using them safely with adult supervision if kids are around. Once the fireworks are extinguished, Allison recommends having a five gallon bucket with water handy and putting the firework remains in the bucket to avoid fire incidents.