San Mateo County hosting fireworks buyback events ahead of July 4th

SAN MATEO COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) —Ahead of this year’s Fourth of July, people can get a cash reward for turning in illegal fireworks.

During the month of June, the San Mateo County Sheriff’s office will hold three buyback events.

Sergeant Javier Acosta said fireworks are illegal in San Mateo County except in San Bruno and Pacifica.

“Our hope is just enhance community safety,” Acosta said.

People who turn in illegal fireworks can do so anonymously, no questions asked.

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“Our bomb squad unit will be onsite for safety purposes the illegal fireworks are weighed and based on their weight you can get up to $200,” Acosta said.

The buyback series this month is an expansion from Sherriff Christina Corpus’s buyback event held last year.

The sheriff’s office called it a ‘resounding success’ with the collection of 400 pounds of illegal fireworks and explosives.

“And as a result, we had a reduction in calls for service the night of Fourth of July. I am surprised more cities and more parts of the state aren’t doing this. I am thrilled that our sheriff saw a need and put it into action,” Acosta said.

We spoke with CAL FIRE Captain Jordan Motta who said he’s very glad to see these buyback events.

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“So far this year, there’s been several incidents of illegal fireworks starting fires,” Motta said.

Motta wants people to know there will be no repercussions for you turning in fireworks.

“We know that they’re out there, we know that the illegal fireworks are out there and people acquire them through questionable means online or traveling over state boarders sometimes they’ve had the for years back to a time when they were legal,” Motta said.

He hopes the buyback program can help eliminate the temptation.

“I’ve worked at a number of stations in the county and up on Skyline Boulevard in particular – we’d respond to three, four fires a year from people setting off bottle rockets, roman candles – things like that. And its not the time of year too be setting off fireworks, the grass is dry, the brush is dry – you will start a fire,” Motta said.

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Below are a list of dates for the three fireworks buyback events:

  • Saturday, June 15, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Coastside Fire Protection District Headquarters located at 1191 Main St., Half Moon Bay.
  • Saturday, June 22, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Northern Branch Courthouse located at 1050 Mission Road, South San Francisco.
  • Saturday, June 29, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the new Sheriff’s Office Substation located at 690 Broadway, Redwood City.
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