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Gearing up for the Fourth of July


Last updated 6/12/2008 at Noon

Behind the scenes, activity is well underway by law enforcement and fire safety officials to ensure the success of the Fourth of July Grand Tradition fireworks show.

A meeting held on the veranda of the Grand Tradition on June 3, coordinated by Don McDougal, brought together a coalition of specialists, including members of the North County Fire Protection District (NCFPD), De Luz Volunteer Fire Department, California Department of Forestry (CAL FIRE) and the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department Senior Volunteer Patrol and representatives of the fireworks provider, Pyro-Spectaculars.

“The real key that makes this event work is fireworks, because everyone wants to see fireworks on Independence Day,” McDougal, vice president of the Grand Tradition, said to those present. “And that is why you are such an important group.”

Gary Lane, battalion chief for NCFPD, presented a comprehensive incident action plan for the fireworks show. “The objective for this event is to provide for the safety [of attendees] within the property of the Grand Tradition and [residents and] nearby properties,” he said.

The plan covered the responsibilities and duties of the fire department(s), medical personnel, law enforcement and fireworks contractor during the event.

The objectives, continued Lane, “are to provide for fire safety to the public and emergency personnel, provide for crowd and traffic control with the use of law enforcement and volunteers and to provide medical service in the event of an emergency.”

Lane also pointed out that NCFPD, CAL FIRE and the Del Luz and Rainbow volunteer fire departments would provide a perimeter fire watch.

To date, weather conditions have never halted a Grand Tradition fireworks extravaganza. However, if a hazardous weather condition arose, such as the dangerous Santa Ana winds, it was stated that fireworks would not be uploaded.

“The fireworks portion would be cancelled but not the entire Fourth of July event,” said McDougal. “Safety is our greatest concern and we would not put the community at risk.”

The use of illegal fireworks within the Fallbrook area is something NCFPD and the Sheriff’s Department will take a proactive stance against.

“There will be a contingent of extra people on duty that night and day specifically looking for the illegal use of fire works,” said John Buchanan of NCFPD.

All guests, said McDougal, will be screened upon entry. Visitors are not allowed to bring food, drinks, umbrellas or pets onto the Grand Tradition grounds.

With the beauty of fireworks also comes the resulting noise. From approximately 8:45 to 9:15 p.m., residents can expect to hear loud cracks and pops coming from the site.

“Take whatever precautions necessary with pets because there will be noise,” said McDougal. Pet owners may wish to contact their veterinarians for advice.

For this fourth annual event, all will remain the same as in the past with the exception of a couple of minor changes, said McDougal. Gates will open at 4 p.m. and food, entertainment and live music from The Corvettes will abound.

This year, the children’s section will be different. “We’ve concentrated on more activities for the kids; there will be a larger setup in the back for the children,” he said.

In addition, after 8 p.m., for a nominal charge, visitors can be admitted for the fireworks portion of the event only.

“We want to get people off the streets and get them in for the event,” McDougal said. The cost for the fireworks-only show is $10 for adults and $5 for children/military.

The event, McDougal says, is organized by the Fallbrook Beautification Alliance. “This is really the only fundraiser they have each year to raise funds for the community to do landscaping projects,” he said.

Last year, the Grand Tradition fireworks show raised roughly $45,000 – and their hope is to do the same this year, said McDougal.

For the 2008 Independence Day event, McDougal expects between 2,500 and 3,000 guests.

“The fireworks are choreographed to patriotic music,” he explained. “People say they have never seen a show that was so professional.”

For more details on this event, see the press release on page A-3 of this issue, visit or call the Grand Tradition at (760) 728-6466.

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