Sacramento firefighters put out 64 fires on July 4 weekend and handled hundreds of calls

·2 min read
Xavier Mascareñas/xmascarenas@sacbee.com

Sacramento firefighters battled illegal firework use on July 4th, extinguishing blazes and issuing citations on what spokesman Capt. Keith Wade described as the Sacramento Fire Department’s busiest night of the year.

In Sacramento, all fireworks that go up in the air or explode are considered illegal. The Sacramento Fire Department has made an effort to crack down on illegal firework use this summer, enforcing fines beginning at $1,000 for those that use illegal fireworks or allow illegal firework activity on their property.

Nevertheless, illegal fireworks rained down on Sacramento on Monday night, with 418 complaints of illegal firework activity called in to the fire department or reported via the Nail ’Em app.

“We hope to do better as we go forward,” Wade said. “But as you can see in the sky, it’s a daunting, daunting task and not just one for the fire department to undertake, but for all organizations and community members to come together and figure out how we change what seems to be almost a cultural acceptance in the region.”

The Sacramento Fire Department responded to a total of 64 fire related calls on the night of the Fourth, according to a post to the department’s social media. These included four structure fires, 26 vegetation fires and 27 rubbish fires.

One of these was a 1-acre grass fire on the 5100 Block of El Paraiso Ave that firefighters on social media attributed to an illegal firework.

The department issued 32 citations over the course of the night, totaling $35,000 in fines.

Last year, the fire department received 84 fire calls and issued 76 citations. However, Wade said that the decrease could also be attributed to fewer staff working on the night of the Fourth this year, stressing that the city still has “a long way to go as a community” when it comes to curbing illegal firework use.

“From an untrained statistical eye, looking into the sky last night, it seemed the same as last year,” Wade said. “Any amount of illegal fireworks going off in the sky, to the fire department, is unacceptable, and not what we’d like to see.”

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