Investigators from San Bernardino County Fire, Colton and Rancho Cucamonga Fire Departments teamed up to stop dangerous and illegal fireworks from entering the county. Throughout the month of 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 Task Force was successful in confiscating over 60,000 pounds of dangerous and illegal fireworks over three weekends of fireworks interdiction operations. The task force issued 73 citations resulting in $91,250 in fines, with fines up to $1,250 for the first offense with the possibility of arrest.
“The San Bernardino County Fire Department will remain vigilant each and every year to protect our communities from the risks associated with dangerous fireworks,” Fire Marshal Mike Horton said. “With San Bernardino County facing another dangerous wildland fire season, San Bernardino County Fire will remain vigilant in protecting public health and safety. We want to thank the public for helping us stop those that would attempt to smuggle these dangerous explosives into the county. If you see something, say something. Call the We-Tip Hotline at 1-800-47-ARSON (1-800-472-7766) or visit WeTip.com.”
All confiscated fireworks are turned over 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.