DISCOVERY BAY (CBS SF) — A Discovery Bay resident will have to pay a hefty fine for putting on an illegal fireworks show last July 4th using professional-grade fireworks on a barge tied to a dock at his home, fire officials announced Thursday.

Originally, a $52,650 fine was issued to the unidentified resident after a neighbor’s complaint according to the East Contra Costa Fire Protection District (ECCFPD). The resident appealed the fine and was during the appeal process was able to reduce the fine by 50% to $26,325.

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A decision upholding the fine was issued on February 18 and the fire district released the information Thursday after the allotted time for final appeal.

Aside from the illegal fireworks show on the waters of Discovery Bay, the ECCFPD said last July 4th firefighters responded to 114 calls for service and 29 calls for fires, with 125 acres burned and $20,000 in property losses. Two burn injuries were also reported to a father and child, 70 citations were issued, and 100 pounds of illegal fireworks seized.

“On June 25, 2020 the Fire District put out a press release urging everyone to avoid the temptation of putting yourself and your neighbors at risk and reminded the public that Contra Costa County is a firework-free zone,” said ECCFPD President Brian Oftedal in a prepared statement. “It is unfortunate that these warnings were blatantly ignored and that our community was placed at increased risk. I am hopeful that this incident will serve as an eye opener to our communities and discourages individuals from violating local and county ordinances in the future.”

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“With the District’s limited resources of only three stations available to respond to fires, our Prevention Division works to eliminate all potential fires within the District,” said ECCFPD Fire Marshal Steve Aubert in a prepared statement.

Across the Bay Area last July 4th, fire districts dealt with more than 100 fire calls, with dozens of blazes sparked by the use of illegal fireworks.

With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing local officials to cancel annual July 4 fireworks celebrations to avoid large gatherings, people took it upon themselves to fire up fireworks in seemingly record numbers.

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