FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – The 4th of July holiday is a day that wreaks havoc on local fire departments with phones ringing off the hook.
Fresno Fire Deputy Fire Marshall Jay Tracy said the department responded to 100 fires on the night of July 4th, 2021 – and received over a thousand firework complaints. The department was so overwhelmed with calls that firefighters couldn’t respond to medical calls.
“There were long periods of time where we didn’t respond to medical aids, so if your family member or friend is having a medical emergency the fire department isn’t coming,” said Tracy.
CalFire will also be prepared for firework-related incidents.
“Historically we have seen many grass fires started by fireworks here on the valley floor,” said CalFire Battalion Chief Seth Brown.
This year, the crackdown on illegal fireworks will strike residents financially. This year, if you are caught shooting off illegal fireworks (defined as fireworks that leave the ground or explode) or host a party where illegal fireworks are let off, you will face fines up to $5,000.
“We don’t have the ability to allow the use of illegal fireworks because of the danger they pose,” said Tracy.
Officials said if it is an emergency – like a fire or medical-related – to call 911, but if it is just to complain about fireworks being shot off to call the non-emergency line 559-621-7000.