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Recapping July 4th events around the county amid pandemic

Posted at 9:19 AM, Jul 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-05 12:22:59-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — With firework shows canceled, many Kern County residents had their own celebrations at home on Saturday night. And before that it was a really nice morning, leading many to go out to parks and walk with the family, exercise, or do some of their favorite hobbies,

Firework stands around town saying the lack of official fireworks shows meant a boom for business.

“This year we’ve beat last year’s mark and it’s the Fourth of July, the morning’s not even over yet, so it’s going pretty good," said Michael Stitt, who was operating a firework stand in Northwest Bakersfield.

But as day turned to night. The story turned from legal fireworks to illegal ones. 23ABC riding along with the Bakersfield fire department as they responded to calls on one of their busiest night of the year. Department spokesperson Casey Snow saying the calls have been overwhelming.

“A couple of weekends ago we had over 1,000 calls to our dispatch for our fireworks and again we are a basic fire department and we get about 43,000 calls a year and when you add those thousands of illegal fireworks it can jam up the 9-1-1 system," Snow said.

The Bakersfield Police Department said they had four arson investigators patrolling throughout the night, citing several people, but specific numbers are not available yet. Although a big firework show was absent in many Kern County cities, the show did go on a select few, including the city of Taft, Wasco, and Tehachapi.

Just because the holiday is over, doesn't mean the illegal fireworks are. If you want to report illegal fireworks, officials ask you not to call 9-1-1, instead report it on the city’s app, or email them at firework@bakersfield.us.