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Firehouses Fully Staffed for Fourth

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SAN JOSE, Calif. (KCBS) Most Bay Area firehouses are fully staffed in anticipation of a busy Fourth of July holiday weekend.

The use of fireworks, legal or illegal can add up to trouble said San Jose Fire Captain Chuck Rangel.

“Fireworks cause hundreds of injuries each year, ignite thousands of fires,” said Rangel. “There were 7,000 in 2008 due to fireworks, 30,000 fires and over $40 million in property damage.”

One of the most recent examples occurred on Friday when someone used a sparkler, causing a portion of a San Jose apartment complex to catch fire.

Two units were heavily damaged and sparklers are considered “safe and sane.”[pullquote quote="Fireworks cause hundreds of injuries each year, ignite thousands of fires." credit="San Jose Fire Captain Chuck Rangel"]

CAL FIRE Prevention Chief Rob Van Wormer said there is a tremendous amount of illegal fireworks brought into the state each year.

“Basically anything that goes boom or gets up off the ground is illegal in California,” said Van Wormer.

CAL FIRE Battalion Chief Jim Crawford said despite a lack of funds, money is always set aside to make sure fire stations are fully staffed during holiday weekends, especially for the Fourth of July.

He said their air attack units will be ready to go at a moment’s notice, engines will be gassed up and tankers will be filled.

“We will have hand crews that are available at our conservation camps to respond to wild land incidents as well,” said Crawford.

Fire crews are fortunate that they won’t have to battle the elements much this weekend.

Golden Gate Weather Meteorologist Jan Null said mild temperatures, low humidity and weak offshore winds are expected with very little fog, leaving the door open for clear viewing of professional fireworks shows.

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