SACRAMENTO, Calif. (CBS13) – Thousands of people packed into Cal Expo to see the fireworks Wednesday.
Meanwhile, firefighters were sure to stand by ready for action in case a fire sparked.
“We’re expecting people to be out enjoying themselves and enjoying fireworks,” Captain Keith Wade with Sacramento Fire Department.
And the cooler weather made the perfect Independence Day backdrop. This year’s high was 79 degrees — down from the steamy 95-degree high in 2017.
“Oh my God, it was so hot last year!” said Gloria Ortiz. “So this year, it’s a breeze!”
But Captain Wade with Sacramento Fire Department warned people not to let the nice weather lull them into a false sense of security.
“We want them to know that the danger is still there,” he said. “The fuels in the vegetation around our community are primed to burn.”
And the smallest spark from a firework is enough to do the trick.
“The evening is going to be the time we’re going to be on high alert,” Wade said.
Between January 1 and July 4, the number of fires in Sacramento has gone up by 107 this year compared to last year. And the city has seen 20 more grass fires this year than they did up until the same point in 2017.
“We haven’t had a major incident along the parkway area here on the backside of Cal Expo yet this season,” Wade told CBS13.
But bountiful dry brush along the American River Parkway means that could happen at any time. Wade says high heat derailed the department’s plans for controlled burns.
“We planned to do 100 acres this year and we were only able to accomplish 10 to 15,” he said.
Sacramento County has spread herbicide in certain areas and brought in animals to graze on the grass. The fire department asks everyone to continue to make smart decisions and help keep fires from igniting.
“Be aware, respect your neighbors and let’s have fun this 4th of July,” Wade said.