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New fine set for personal fireworks

Tehachapi City Council Update

The Tehachapi Municipal Code has always prohibited the firing, discharge, exploding, selling or giving away of fireworks within the City limits of Tehachapi. This includes any bomb, firecrackers, Roman candle, pinwheel, skyrocket or any combustible or other fireworks of that nature within the City limits without a special permit. To do so is considered a misdemeanor criminal offense.

However, due to the extreme drought conditions and high winds that the Tehachapi area is experiencing, as well as the increase in the use of personal fireworks within the City, a change in the ordinance was presented to the Tehachapi City Council at their June 7 meeting to address the hazard to personal safety and the property of City residents and those of surrounding communities.

The City Council voted unanimously to allow police officers to issue citations not only to those setting off the fireworks, but to property owners, tenants and any one with property rights. Parents and legal guardians of minors committing a violation can also be charged. A monetary fine of $1,000 per violation was also approved by the Council.

The City will launch a community awareness campaign to educate the public about the negative impacts of personal fireworks, their prohibition and new penalties prior to the 4th of July holiday.

The Tehachapi Police Department encourages residents to report the use of fireworks within city limits to the Police Communications Center at (661) 822-2222.

The annual City of Tehachapi fireworks spectacular will take place on the 4th of July with fireworks originating from the north side of Tehachapi Municipal Airport at 9 p.m. While there will be no formal events or seating at Coy Burnett Stadium this year, there are plenty of parking and viewing areas available near the fireworks site and throughout the Tehachapi Valley where residents can enjoy the show. The City of Tehachapi will provide a viewing map closer to the event.

The Tehachapi City Council meets on the first and third Monday of each month at 6 p.m. Currently they are meeting at the BeeKay Theater located at 110 S. Green St.