San Bernardino County – Investigators from San Bernardino County Fire partnered with the Chino Valley, Colton, Rancho Cucamonga, and Victorville Fire Departments to stop dangerous and illegal fireworks from entering the county.
Over an 8-day period in May and June, investigators targeted key entry points into the county, specifically I-15 from Nevada, conducting vehicle checks and searching out illegal fireworks.
The Fireworks Interdiction Taskforce was successful in confiscating approximately 18,725 pounds of dangerous and illegal fireworks. In addition to distributing hundreds of warnings, the taskforce issued 99 citations resulting in $111,250 in fines, with fines up to $1,250 for the first offense with the possibility of arrest.
“The use of illegal fireworks puts the public, our firefighters and police officers at risk creating an unnecessary burden and additional cost to our communities,” stated San Bernardino County Fire Marshal Mike Horton. “San Bernardino County Fire Agencies remain vigilant each and every year to protect our communities from the risks associated with dangerous fireworks.” Fire Marshal Horton went on to say, “We can’t go it alone. We need the public’s help in combatting this growing crisis. I encourage you to get involved and make a difference. We thank the public for helping us stop those that would try to smuggle these dangerous explosives into the county.”
The San Bernardino County Fire Office of the Fire Marshal (OFM) implemented a modern technology called the Illegal Fireworks Reporter to request help from the public in reporting the sale and use of illegal fireworks.
With over 1,500 complaints, the Office of the Fire Marshal substantiated the use of fireworks and mobilized personnel to heavy use areas, while concentrating fire prevention and law enforcement patrols in those areas.
Fire prevention officers refer complaints made in outside jurisdictions to local public safety agencies. The new reporting system is located on our website at https://bit.ly/3ds5mR0 or directly at https://bit.ly/3h4RvCH.
The San Bernardino County Fire Office of the Fire Marshal turns over all confiscated fireworks to the State Fire Marshal’s Office for destruction. Under California law, all fireworks that explode, shoot into the air, or move along the ground are considered dangerous and are illegal to possess without a permit. That includes firecrackers, skyrockets, roman candles, mortars, and “chasers” that dart along the ground, and safe and sane fireworks that have been modified.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, on a typical 4th of July, fireworks cause more fires in the U.S. than all other causes combined. In addition to fires, fireworks cause deaths, blindness, maiming injuries to children and adults, re-traumatize war veterans suffering from PTSD, and frighten household pets.
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