FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --The Central Valley's Fireworks Task Force is releasing the numbers on this year's 4th of July activity throughout the region. Overall-- calls to service were down
It's a first for the Central Valley. This year's 4th of July festivities resulted in zero firework related injuries.
"I can't remember a year where we didn't have at least some burn injury," said Chief Micheal Despain, Clovis Fire Department.
In a Tuesday morning press conference, the Fireworks Task Force announced a significant decline in calls to service this 4th of July. The team, comprised of Cal Fire, Fresno, and Clovis fire departments, said throughout the region there were 202 calls to services. Only 35 were firework related fires.
Chief Despain said, "Our enforcement is targeted to 4th of July because about 95 to 98 percent of the illegal firework use occurs and we see the increase in call volume."
The city of Fresno topped the list with 18 fires that required suppression efforts. Only one was a structure fire compared to five last year. Cal Fire responded to 15 Fresno County fires and Clovis had two.
The significant decline is thanks in part to their proactive approach, but they also attribute it to 4th of July falling on a Monday.
"People shut down the party a little sooner because they had to work the next day. So less hours of risk,' said Despain.
Though numbers are down officials said the resources were still taxed. In addition to the public shows held in Fresno, a number of illegal aerials were shot off throughout the night.
"We are going from one fire to the next and we really couldn't commit our fire apparatus to reports of illegal's, because we need to keep them available for medical calls," said Deputy Chief Rich Cabral, Fresno Fire Department.
Region-wide 20 citations were issued, two of them county misdemeanors issued by Cal Fire.
A new ordinance from Clovis that's been in practice in Fresno for nearly a decade lead to 13 citations in an undercover operation.
"Overall, we still had a lot of illegal fireworks, but overall, if we look at it neighborhood by neighborhood, it looks like it's making a difference," said Despain.
And those efforts seem to be paying off. Fire officials said neighborhoods where enforcement was done last year were much quieter.