Reminder: Kindly Refrain From Setting Bernal Hill on Fire During July Fourth


Bernal Hill on fire, July 4, 2013

It’s the Fourth of July weekend! Hooray! This is an exciting time of year for patriotism, barbecues, and Karl the Fog. Yet seeing as how we’re all feeling a bit pyro-phobic lately, we have a humble request for all Citizens of Bernalwood during this July Fourth holiday: Please do not turn Bernal Hill into a blazing inferno.

Bernal Hill is a popular place to watch the official fireworks pink fog show put on by the City, but it’s a dangerous place for civilians to launch their own fireworks. For example, the photo above shows Bernal Hill on July 4, 2013, after an amateur fireworks show set the hill on fire.

That was bad. Let’s not do that again. Here are some time-tested Fourth of July fire prevention tips for Bernal Hill from Neighbor Sarah:

It’s that time of year again – time for most of us to celebrate freedom, the Declaration of Independence, and the birth of our nation. It’s also time when some damage property and endanger people by setting off illegal fireworks and leaving lots of garbage behind. As we prepare for July 4, here are a few things to keep in mind.

1. Do not set off fireworks. Definitely don’t set them off on Bernal Hill, which is covered in dry grasses and brush. You may recall that [in 2013], some moron set the Hill on fire. Luckily, no one was hurt, but imagine if this had happened in an area crowded with people watching the downtown fireworks display. If you remember nothing else, remember this: No. Fireworks. On. Bernal. Hill.

2. If you see someone setting off illegal fireworks on Bernal Hill, call the police. Dial 553-0123 if nothing is on fire yet. Dial 911 or 553-8090 if there is an active blaze. Again, call 553-0123 if you see fireworks in progress, and call 911 if it actually sets off a fire.

PHOTO: Fire on Bernal Hill, July 4, 2013, by Neighbor Bernard

3 thoughts on “Reminder: Kindly Refrain From Setting Bernal Hill on Fire During July Fourth

  1. A year after the great Oakland / Berkeley hills, on the 5th of July, some moronic kids dropped a firecracker into dry grass between two houses on Coleridge St. The result was that three buildings burned, and six families were displaced. There was a strong wind that day coming from the southwest, ,and I thought that the fire was going to jump the street. So please take these admonitions seriously.

  2. In 2005 a man with two kids started a fire just southeast of the radio tower. The firecracker shot across the paved road in front of myself and the dog I was walking. Luckily it was out before it hit the lower side of the road and that vegetation. Only a small area burned. The man ran with the two kids out the east side of the hill and got into a van driven by another man. It was a moment of great parenting on all accounts.

    Tom is right. Kids also set off firecrackers on the paper streets just south of the hill in 2012 and 2013. Also on the Alemany hillside in 2014 or 2015 there was a fireworks burn that nearly took the last house on Moultrie.

  3. And firecrackers on July 4 set fire to 2 houses on Montezuma Street 23 (or so) years ago, burning one of them to the ground.

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