Fresno law enforcement using drones to track illegal fireworks

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The dangerous and damaging results of illegal fireworks are popped up across Fresno as police and fire crews respond to several house and brush fires Thursday.

Action News got a "real-time" experience with emergency crews as Fresno city fire, and police officials teamed to patrol the streets and the skies, looking for folks shooting illegal fireworks this Fourth of July holiday.

During one of their stops, They found all these illegal fireworks at a single home.

Deputy Fire Marshall Jay Tracy says fireworks that shoot up into the air are not allowed in the City of Fresno, "We understand its fourth, and you celebrate with friends and family, but we ask you to do so safely."

If you are convicted of having illegal fireworks, you can be ticketed and receive a more than $1,000 fine.

For the first time this year, Fresno fire officials took to the skies using a drone to keep an eye on what's coming up.

Tracy says the problem they face is that what goes up, must come down and it often leads to fires.

At one point, they were dealing with seven fire calls across the city.

"Our fire chief and administration worked hard to up staff, we do have extra engines, and extra bodies on for fire events," said Tracy.

The other problem is that it ties up resources for both firefighters and police.

"It creates a lot of calls for service. It does tie up officers to where they're needed elsewhere," says Fresno Police Lieutenant Timothy Tietjen.

Fresno Fire officials say if you want to avoid a hefty fine, look for the safe and sane seal on legal fireworks; otherwise, you may get an unwanted visit during your celebration.
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