Kern County Firefighters investigating the use of illegal fireworks

If caught, people face $1,500 fine

OILDALE, Calif. - Fire crews are issuing citations to people caught using illegal fireworks around Kern County and if you’re thinking of setting some off, beware there’s a hefty fine attached to the violation.

Building manager, Pat Carter says the problem with fireworks in her north Oildale neighborhood gets worse every year.

“They’re all illegals. They are flying up in the air. Some of them lit on top of my complex and in my yard with us sitting out there and by the time you call them and they get here, they can’t see them doing it so, they can’t get them and it’s just sickening.  They are going to burn this whole area down,” said Carter.

Carter is responsible for 19 units and says her tenants are her number one priority.

“It’s sad that we have to live in fear because of everybody around us that fire illegal fireworks,” said Carter.

The Kern County Fire Department is on patrol with sheriff’s deputies cracking down on people setting off illegal fireworks.

“Anything that is not safe and sane.  So, anything that’s aerial or deemed to be illegal by the state,” said Matthew Haskins of the Kern County Fire Department.

Arson investigators have already seized more than one-thousand pounds of illegal fireworks in Kern County.  Firefighters say if your busted expect a $1500 dollar fine.

“I think the biggest thing is they think they’re not going to get caught and they need to know that we’re out and we’re going to write citations,” he said.

About ten law enforcement teams are patrolling the area.  23ABC tagged along with investigators in north Oildale.

“I’ve been doing it for six and a half years and it seems like every year, it stays about the same. It’s pretty busy every night,” he said.

Teams handed citations to people using illegal fireworks and even confiscated a few from homes.

“The biggest with the aerial they can land on roofs and start fires, also in grass fields, but also the one that explode can injury limbs,” he said.

Anyone caught using illegal fireworks face county and even state charges.  Investigators plan to continue their patrol until 2 A.M.

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