BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — With Independence Day over, you’d think the time for fireworks has fizzled out. But the use of illegal fireworks, including "Safe and Sane" fireworks outside of the proper time period, has been on the rise across the country and here locally.
According to the Bakersfield Fire Department, legal fireworks may no longer be used after 12:30 a.m. on July 5.
“After the 12:30 time period, the fireworks become illegal,” said Kevin Albertson, BFD Deputy Chief.
Albertson says every year during BFD's Fourth of July Enforcement period, which runs from July 1 to July 5, crews respond to house fires that are suspected from illegal fireworks. Along with fires, BFD receives calls during this time for injuries from fireworks, especially children.
In 2019, BFD issued 51 citations for illegal fireworks and made one arrest during its enforcement period.
Last year, even with the pandemic, BFD issued 71 illegal fireworks citations.
This year, even before the end of the day Saturday, BFD already made 176 fireworks responses. By the end of the night on July 4, BFD Enforcement Teams were scattered throughout Bakersfield responding to fires.
23ABC caught video of some of those illegal fireworks via our roofcam. The fireworks sparked all throughout Bakersfield throughout the night.
This morning, BFD is calculating just how many illegal fireworks calls they responded to as well as the number of citations and fires.