County’s holiday weekend largely quiet, officials say

This Fourth of July weekend was much quieter than normal in San Mateo County, which was likely due to the holiday falling on Tuesday, officials said.

There were no reported injuries from fireworks, but instead the usual round of small fires and confiscation of illegal explosives.

North County Fire Authority Deputy Chief/Fire Marshal Steve Brandvold said there were only three fireworks-related “rubbish fires” all weekend.

“This has to have been the quietest Fourth of July in the 17 years I’ve been here,” Brandvold said.

Central County Fire Department Fire Marshal Rocque Yballa reported no fires and no injuries.

Neither police nor fire officials didn’t confiscate any illegal or “safe and sane” fireworks — the latter of which are illegal everywhere in San Mateo County except in SanBruno and Pacifica.

Officials did, however, confiscate 11 2-inch mortar shells from a park that were likely illegal, Yballa said.

Confiscated fireworks are eventually sent to the state fire marshal. Punishment can range from an infraction for “safe and sane” fireworks to a misdemeanor for higher-level fireworks like M-80s, Yballa said.

The San Bruno Fire Department made the usual round of arrests for illegal fireworks, Fire Chief Dan Voreyer said.

“I would say, for the most part, people heeded the public education effort we made on illegal fireworks,” Voreyer said, noting that there were some illegal explosives found at Skyline College and a handful of trash fires.

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