4th of July Fireworks Operation

July 6, 2009 7:37:01 AM PDT
Fresno fire and police officials received more than 100 illegal fireworks calls Saturday night. They also responded to a few fires, giving them even more of a reason to crack down on illegal fireworks.From bottle rockets to home-made devices, the Fresno fire and police departments confiscated hundreds of illegal fireworks Saturday night. "You know they go all over the place to buy these things. Out of state, out of the country and they bring them in."

During their annual Fourth of July operation, law enforcement wrote 20 citations to people using fireworks that weren't deemed "safe and sane." Each ticket costs $1,250 dollars.Last year, 70 were given out.

"This year, the six teams that went out went out in marked vehicles, police vehicles, which were easy to detect. Last year, we went out in unmarked, low profile vehicles."

The Fresno fire department responded to two fires they say were caused by illegal fireworks. A bottle rocket sparked this brush fire in Northwest Fresno. It narrowly missed our own Angelo Stalis' home.

In a separate incident, a 17-year old boy burned his hand after he used illegal fireworks which started a fire near Highway 41 and Ashland Avenue "Even one fire is too much, especially if it could have been prevented."

Merced firefighters were also on high alert last night. Still, they say there was less activity this Fourth of July compared to last and that there were no fires fueled by fireworks.

"Around town, there was still a good amount of illegal activity that we could hear and we had some officers trying to track that down but there was nothing major that was confiscated."

As of 12am Sunday morning, it's illegal to light off fireworks, even if they are deemed safe and sane. You can still get a citation. So your best bet is to wait until next year.

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