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Ushering in 2018 with fireworks could cost you $750

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POSTED December 30, 2017 1:59 a.m.

Manteca Fire Chief Kyle Shipherd has some advice that could save you at least $750 and keep your house from burning — don’t shoot off fireworks to celebrate the arrival of 2018 and if you have a live Christmas tree get it out of your house as soon as possible.

So far this year Manteca has issued 30 citations for the illegal discharge of fireworks under its host ordinance law. Almost every citation has resulted in the person in control of the property where they were launched, from whether it was a homeowner or a renter, being successfully slapped with a $750 fine plus being assessed with all the costs the city incurred citing and prosecuting the case.

“It doesn’t matter who shoots fireworks from your property — your teen son, you or a guest,” Shipherd said, “the (person in control of the property) gets the fine.”

If you assume all of the citations issued happened on or around the Fourth of July, guess again. This year’s offenders that were caught included one person who launched fireworks in October.

The host ordinance requires only that the property where fireworks are launched from be identified and not the person actually setting off the fireworks. Not only is that significantly easier to verify, but because it is through the administrative process and not the court system the citations are resolved fairly quickly with the city prevailing in the vast majority of cases.

Shipherd noted the city has been fortunate for the past several years not to have a house fire connected with a Christmas tree.

The fire chief said it used to be the norm to have one or two house fires linked to Christmas trees or candles during the holiday season.

The worst fire was in 1999 when a dried out Christmas tree destroyed a two-story house in the Chadwick Square neighborhood in northwest Manteca. The loss of the stricture and contents was in excess of $650,000.

The city will pick up Christmas trees through Jan. 12 on your normal trash collection day.

All trees must be free or ornaments, lights, and stands. Trees that are left out after Jan. 12 will be subject to a collection fee. Flocked trees are fine. The trees are taken to Harvest Power where they are chipped into compost.

Manteca is changing its garbage collection for the week of Jan. 1. Those who have garbage collection normally on Monday will not have it on Christmas Day or New Year’s Day. Instead the collection will be a day later on Tuesday, Jan. 2. All other normal collection days will be pushed back a day: Tuesday to Wednesday, Wednesday to Thursday, Thursday to Friday, and Friday to Saturday.

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