County of Marin - News Releases - Fourth of July Public Safety

For Immediate Release
June 26, 2020

County Encourages Fun, Non-Combustible Holiday

Don’t let your guard down over Fourth of July weekend … Play it safe

San Rafael, CA – After sheltering in place for nearly four months, residents from all over nation are itching to bust out and celebrate the Fourth of July in red, white, and blue style. However, in Marin County, public safety remains the top priority. Local first responders are planning for an influx of jubilant visitors, especially to Marin’s coastal communities, despite the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency. 

Confiscated fireworks placed on a table.Please pass the word, especially to visitors from outside Marin, that all fireworks are illegal here.
The Marin County Fire Department, the Marin County Sheriff’s Office, and rangers from Marin County Parks are joining first responders from local agencies to prepare for a summer coming-out party that could include violations of social distancing, increased risks for wildfires because of illegal fireworks, lapses in water safety, and other dangerous behavior.

“We understand what it feels like to be cooped up and not be allowed to enjoy recreation like we did before COVID-19,” said Marin County Fire Chief Jason Weber. “Even though everybody can’t wait to return to normal, I’m urging everyone to practice fire safety, water safety, and coronavirus-related safety. You can still have a good time without letting your guard down.”

Even if temperatures are not high, beaches and pools are expected to be popular gathering spots during the holiday weekend. Parents need to make sure kids are water safe around all bodies of water, from the Pacific Ocean to San Francisco Bay to wading pools. Adults need to avoid distractions as they keep an eye on youngsters, including an overindulgence in alcoholic beverages. Drowning continues to be a leading cause of injury and death for children ages 1-4. Wearing life jackets and having other floatation devices handy is a must.

When it comes to fireworks, it should be easy to remember: All forms of fireworks are illegal in Marin. The fireworks ordinance will be enforced to reduce fire risk, protect natural resources and – most importantly – to preserve personal safety.

Despite the high wildfire danger during the summer, some revelers ignore the risks of using fireworks. Among the devastating results are skin burns, severe injuries to eyes, ears and extremities, structure fires, wildland fires and even death. Thousands of people nationwide, most often children and teens, are injured while using consumer fireworks every Fourth of July.

Marin was lucky last year on the Independence Day: There were no major emergency calls related to fireworks in unincorporated Marin and no wildfires sparked by them. Occasionally the people using fireworks locally are Marin residents, but often they are visitors who don’t know about the local ordinance prohibiting fireworks. The Sheriff’s Office plans to have extra deputies on duty for enforcement over the holiday.

All illegal activities and behavior issues witnessed by Marin County Parks rangers will be reported to law enforcement or fire agencies, and enforcement will take place whether or not an incident takes place on private property or at a County government property. A misdemeanor offense of using or possessing fireworks in Marin could cost an offender $410 – that’s $100 for the base fine plus $310 in penalty assessments and surcharges.

Because of the pandemic, some services normally available over the Fourth of July holiday are not available this year. In many locations, that includes trash collection. Visitors are encouraged to properly dispose of all trash at their homes if receptacles are not available at recreational sites. Marin County Public Health orders urges people to wear face coverings and practice physical distancing when there is a chance of coming within six feet of a non-family member.


Mark Brown
Deputy Chief
Marin County Fire Department

33 Castle Rock Ave.
Woodacre, CA 94973
(415) 473-6717
Email: Mark Brown
Marin County Fire website