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Where fireworks are allowed in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura counties

Mike Eliason fireworks prohibited
Mike Eliason / Santa Barbara County Fire Department
Fireworks are prohibited in most cities within the San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

With Fourth of July fast approaching, and many city firework shows canceled due to COVID-19, residents across the Central Coast have been looking to purchase their own fireworks.

However, due to their loud and dangerous nature, fireworks are only allowed during a certain time of the year in some cities and are completely illegal in many others.

Below is a breakdown of where you can and cannot sell or use fireworks within San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties:

San Luis Obispo County

In San Luis Obispo County, safe and sane fireworks are only allowed to be sold and used in Arroyo Grande, Grover Beach, Templeton, San Miguel and Oceano.

Santa Barbara County

In Santa Barbara County, safe and sane fireworks are only allowed in Santa Maria, Guadalupe and Lompoc.

The possession, sale or use of fireworks in all unincorporated areas of
Santa Barbara County, including the cities of Santa Barbara, Goleta, Carpinteria, Buellton and Solvang is considered a misdemeanor offense, and in some cases, a felony offense.

In both Santa Maria and Lompoc, safe and sane fireworks went on sale Sunday, June 28, and are the only type of firework allowed within the cities. If they are not labeled as safe and sane with the State Fire Marshal emblem, they are illegal and subject to a $1,000 fine.

Example of a Safe and Sane logo on a firework (Photo: Ventura County Sheriff's Office)

Fireworks can only be used in Santa Maria during a 12-hour period on July 4 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

In Lompoc, they can only be used from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. on July 4

Ventura County

All fireworks are illegal in nine out of the ten cities in Ventura County.

The only city safe and sane fireworks are allowed to be sold and used in is Fillmore.

That means fireworks are illegal in Ventura, Camarillo, Moorpark, Ojai, Port Hueneme, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks, and in the unincorporated areas of the county. The use or possession of fireworks in any of these areas could result in a $1,000 fine and/or jail time.

In addition, the City of Ventura has a Social Host Ordinance that puts responsibility on the host of any gathering where fireworks are illegally used or sold.

While they may be fun to explode while celebrating this holiday, fireworks are loud and can scare children, pets and those with mental illness. It is best to use discretion and detonate any fireworks in a timely matter, rather than in the middle of the night.

Fireworks are also a fire hazard and should only be used away from dry brush areas to avoid igniting a wildfire. According to the City of Ventura, fireworks cause an average of almost 18,500 reported fires per year, many of which start on the Fourth of July.

A quick-moving wildfire just broke out Saturday night in Utah threatening about 30 homes and prompting evacuations. The blaze scorched hundreds of acres. Firefighters said it was all started by someone setting off fireworks near the area.

Article Topic Follows: Safety

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Jessica Brest

Jessica Brest is a digital journalist and assignment editor for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Jessica, click here.


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