FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) – Fresno’s fire department confiscated thousands of illegal fireworks Sunday night, as well as responding to 123 fires – including six structure fires – and issuing at least 40 citations.
However, figures provided by the department show that it is an improvement from last year. Crews responded to 135 fires and battled six large-scale structure fires. The department’s Shane Brown says having additional staffing for the holiday helped keep this year’s fires smaller.
“We credit our deployment last night with having those extra resources in the right places,” said Brown. “We were able to get there quickly, keep the fire small, minimize the damage, and then move on to the next call,” he said.
In Clovis, the fire department saw three structure fires and 10 vegetation fires. Department figures show the call volume was up between 30% and 50% from last year. At one point they were down to just one response vehicle for the entire city.
“From approximately 9:30 to midnight last night, we were running call to call to call,” said Battalion Chief Jim Damico.
No injuries were reported in either Fresno or Clovis. Both Brown and Damico say they saw more citizens celebrating responsibly this year.
“We saw a lot more water hoses out in front of houses, we saw a lot more people being proactive about taking some action on their own to prevent accidents. Maybe the word is spreading amongst neighborhoods to responsibly enjoy the 4th of July. We saw a lot of that, so that was encouraging to us,” Brown said.
Some of those numbers may change as the fire department enters more reports and issues more citations based on surveillance video, but crews are still taking it as a win as there were no major fires or injuries.