At least two overnight fires in Calaveras and Tuolumne counties during the July 4 holiday were caused by fireworks, Cal Fire said Friday morning.

Red paper debris appearing to be from firework packaging was discovered in the charred grasses of a one acre fire near Don Pedro Reservoir, according to photos taken by Cal Fire just after midnight.

The fires occurred separately and approximately at midnight on July 5. None of the fires resulted in injury, destruction of property or the issuance of citations, CalFire Tuolumne-Calaveras Unit Fire Prevention Specialist Emily Kilgore said.

A fire near the intersection of Council Trail and Tomahawk Trail in Copperopolis was the first to be reported at 11:43 p.m. and was believed to be caused by fireworks, Kilgore said.

The fire burned about one acre of grass and brush and was extinguished by two engine, one handcrew and four supervisors.

The fire near Don Pedro Reservoir in the town of La Grange was reported just after midnight, burned grass and brush and was extinguished by two engines, one handcrew and two supervisors.

A fire near Highway 4 and Telegraph Road was contained at 5.2 acres and is still under investigation.

The fire was reported at 1 a.m. on Friday and burned grass. Five engines, a dozer, a handcrew, a watertender and three supervisors fought the fire.

Kilgore also said two citations were written in Valley Springs for possession of dangerous fireworks. Kilgore said she did not know at this time if the fireworks were being used or the circumstances which led up to the citation.

According to Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office logs, citations for aerial fireworks were issued on Heinemann Drive in Valley Springs at 9:25 p.m. and 9:49 p.m.

The Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office received 11 reports of fireworks on Thursday. A person on Lily Valley Circle in West Point was issued a citation for riding on a scooter while lighting off fireworks, the logs said.

“Safe and Sane” fireworks, or fireworks approved for use by the state fire marshal that are not explosive, are legal in Calaveras County (with the exception of the Ebbetts Pass Fire District).

All fireworks regardless of their designation are illegal in Tuolumne County.

Illegal fireworks that do not carry the “safe and sane” designation include “sky rockets, bottle rockets, roman candles, aerial shells, firecrackers and other types that explode, go into the air, or move on the ground in an uncontrollable manner,” according to a Cal Fire press release for the July 4 holiday.

The press releases notes possession of these fireworks can result in prison or jail time and a fine up to $50,000.

The Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office received 14 reports regarding fireworks between 9:15 p.m. and 10:15 p.m.
A woman with a security company on Pine Mountain Road reported fireworks being used at an address and shortly after someone reported aerial fireworks near a helipad in Moccasin. Fireworks were later reported on Moccasin Creek Road and Highway 49 in Jamestown and Mono Way and Hillsdale Drive in Sonora.

A person claiming to be a veteran said they heard two booms — one a fire and the other a gunshot — according to a report made at 9:44 p.m. from Stone Lane in Sonora.

In the next minutes, multiple reports regarding aerial fireworks came from the area of Creekside Drive, Crystal Falls Drive and Ridgeview Drive.

At 10:09 p.m., a woman on Nashua Road reported hearing fireworks, but said she did not know where they were coming from because she was blind.

Contact Giuseppe Ricapito at (209) 588-4526 or gricapito@uniondemocrat.com. Follow him on Twitter @gsepinsonora.

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