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Bay Area Hopes Fog Stays Away for Fireworks

The coast guard created firework "safety zones" for boaters.

Residents of the Bay Area's fog-prone areas are hoping for clear skies tonight so they can enjoy unobstructed views of the region's Fourth of July fireworks shows.

National Weather Service forecaster Mark Strobin declined to speculate on whether a fog layer would dampen any patriotic spirits, but did note that it was cloudy this morning along the Peninsula coast.

U.S. Coast Guard spokesman Chief Petty Officer Mike Lutz said it is hard to tell what will happen with the weather.

"Last I heard it was supposed to be clear, but you know you never really know around here," he said. Lutz plans to watch the fireworks show along San Francisco's northern waterfront.

"I'm hoping for fireworks and not colored fog," he said.

The Coast Guard is alerting boaters about "safety zones" that are being set up in the water during the 9:30 p.m. San Francisco fireworks display, including an area about 1,000 feet off of Pier 39 and another spot near the municipal pier at Aquatic Park.

Boaters entering the safety zones could face penalties including fines of up to $40,000, according to the Coast Guard. Lutz also reminded boaters of the importance of wearing life vests.

"You can never let your guard down when you're going out on the water," he said. "You always want to put on your life jacket, just like when you're driving down to the grocery store, you want to wear your seat belt."

In the event of an emergency, the Coast Guard Sector San Francisco command center can be reached on VHF-FM channel 16 or at (415) 399-3547.

--Bay City News

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