La Jolla Country Club’s July 4th fireworks moved due to safety concerns

La Jolla Country Club fireworks moved due to safety concerns

The launch site for the La Jolla Country Club’s annual fireworks display has been moved slightly this year due to concerns about dry conditions from the winter drought.

Several residents in the area of La Jolla Country Club contacted

La Jolla Light

this month with concerns about the potential for fireworks embers to ignite dry brush in the area, specifically near the “Fox Hill” estate once owned by the Copley publishing family.

This year’s event, scheduled for 8:25 p.m. July 4 on the course, 7301 High Ave., is anticipated to draw thousands of spectators in the area on Mount Soledad.

The fireworks launch site, typically at the first green, will be moved 100 feet south this year, said Sam Bruggema of Pyro Spectaculars, the company that produces the event.

Bruggema said it was determined that moving the launch site further from homes would increase safety and produce a better show for spectators, adding that “100 percent of the show falls within the confines of the golf course.

“Knowing what kind of winter we had (and the dry conditions) it’s common sense to cover yourself and cover your bases,” Bruggema said. “We’ve moved it away from anything that’s dry or people’s personal property,” he said, noting that the launch site was formerly on the edge of the golf course, though a buffer zone was always created.

Bruggema said he made similar launch shifts at many of the 40 sites where his company is contracted to produce fireworks in San Diego and Orange counties.

Mark Dossett, a supervising deputy fire marshal with the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department, said he plans to have a fire marshal on site to oversee the pyrotechnics, as he does for most major fireworks shows in the city.

Dossett said all fireworks operators, in addition to the companies that employee them, must be licensed by the state. Even the fireworks that pyrotechnicians use are regulated by the state, he said.

— Pat Sherman