BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — The Bakersfield Fire Department is reporting a significant increase in illegal fireworks being used across the city.
According to BFD Battalion Chief Casey Snow, last weekend firefighters worked "12 times as many fireworks calls" than the year prior. That's going from 12 reports of illegal fireworks last year to 142 reports this year, Snow added.
Between Friday and Monday, firefighters put out several grass fires caused by fireworks, according to Snow. BFD issued about five citations as a result.
The noise is becoming a constant ordeal for some residents.
"It's like every night," according to East Bakersfield resident Riley Thornell. "It's been every night for the past month-and-a-half. It's getting worse and worse as it gets closer to the Fourth of July."
Now, BFD officials will be patrolling in unmarked vehicles and issuing $1,000 fines to those caught using fireworks before July 2, the date the use of fireworks are permitted.
The fire department is urging anyone who hears or sees the use of fireworks before July 2, to report the incident by calling 661-324-6551 or 661-324-4542.
Residents who live outside of city limits can submit a report to the Kern County Fire Department on their website.