44 people in Fresno cited for illegal fireworks over 4th of July weekend

Fresno Fire received so many calls that officials requested more firefighters, despite having extra staff already on shift.

Jessica Harrington Image
Wednesday, July 6, 2022
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While crews battled flames across Fresno, fire investigators teamed up with police to track down and cite people who were lighting illegal fireworks.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- There's no doubt you heard them Monday night - illegal fireworks going off around Central California on the 4th of July.

As Fresno fire investigators worked to find the people lighting them, firefighters battled dozens of blazes caused by them.

On Tuesday morning, the charred remains of a two-alarm fire were visible from up above.

The flames broke out Monday night, sparked by fireworks.

Fresno Fire says three homes were destroyed.

RELATED: Fireworks burn down 3 central Fresno homes on 4th of July night

It was just a single call on one of the busiest nights of the year for Fresno Fire.

"We actually ran 40% more calls than we would in a typical day and a lot of those were fire calls," says Jonathan Lopez, the public information officer for Fresno Fire Department.

Lopez says Monday night into Tuesday morning, crews responded to 88 fires, many of which were fireworks-related.

That number is up just slightly from the 84 seen last year.

At one point, there were so many calls that officials requested more firefighters, despite having extra staff already on shift.

"Our resources were taxed for quite awhile that evening. In fact, we did recall some off-duty members to staff up additional engines," Lopez says.

While crews battled flames across the city, fire investigators teamed up with Fresno police to track down and cite people who were lighting illegal fireworks.

That was in addition to hundreds of illegal fireworks the task force seized in undercover stings leading up to the 4h of July.

Over the holiday weekend, investigators cited 44 people for illegal fireworks.

33 of those citations were issued on the Fourth alone.

Those individuals are now responsible for paying a $2,000 fine.

Officials say it's not uncommon for illegal fireworks to continue throughout the week.

They remind people to call Fresno Police Department's non-emergency line at 559-621-7000 to report illegal fireworks.