FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Fresno City leaders are cracking down on illegal fireworks this year. On Thursday, the city council voted unanimously in favor of a new ordinance that doubles the current fine amount.

“We don’t want to arrest anybody, we don’t want to give any fines. But the fact of the matter is last year it was a major, major issue. And the drought is still going on,” said Fresno Police Chief Paco Balderrama during the council meeting. 

Currently, those caught shooting off illegal fireworks in Fresno face fines of $1,000, but it’s difficult to track the offenders down. Under the new ordinance, the first offense will now be $2,000, the second $3,000, and subsequent offenses would be $5,000. 

“We need laws with teeth,” said District 2 representative Mike Karbassi. 

The city will not only go after the person shooting off the illegal fireworks but after the host of the party or landowner, too. 

“I don’t want to penalize homeowners that are not participating at all,” said District 1 Representative Esmeralda Soria. 

A city attorney said homeowners who can prove they were not involved won’t be subject to fines.

Fresno Police are also working on a new system for reporting these incidents.

Chief Balderrama said the FresGo app was ineffective last 4th of July, and they don’t want everyone calling 911 for non-emergencies.

“What we did, is we had teams throughout the city comprised of police officers and Fire Marshall service responding to some of these scenes and giving citations where they could,” said Balderrama. 

The city council also talked about sponsoring a firework show in the future.

“Folks are doing it because they want to see fireworks in their community, and the lack of access to low-cost or no-cost events is I think, a big component of this,” said Soria. 

The ordinance goes into effect on Firday. Safe and sane fireworks do not apply.