Fresno, California 2021-06-23 19:19:08 –
Fresno police and fire departments are working together to form a task force. Consists of specialized masked units focused on evening and weekend fireworks.
“There were many violent crimes and we had to do something while the fire department responded to many fires,” says Fresno police chief Paco Valderrama.
In 2020, the fire department made 135 calls due to fire-related emergencies on July 4th alone.
This year, police responded to 358 calls and issued 20 citations.
In the last 24 hours, undercover agents have recovered £ 250 of illegal fireworks and made two felony arrests.
According to Valderrama, the fine is up to $ 1,250 and violators can be prosecuted for arson and the sale of illegal fireworks.
“The goal is not to confiscate many fireworks, put many people in jail, or make many citations,” he said. “The goal is for people to stop it. Know that it is illegal to do so in Fresno-many people don’t know it.
Fire authorities say that legal fireworks packages need to be labeled “safe and sane” by the state fire department for legal use in the city.
Even when using them, authorities say you need to have a water bucket or hose next to you, which should be in the middle of a street or dead end away from flammable substances. Adults should always present it as well.
“It’s like you’re in a war zone, and you don’t want a seven-year-old kid to play,” Valderrama said.
Since the department receives thousands of calls, it is advisable to report an illegal incident via the FresGO app.
“That’s a firecracker,” says townhouse motel manager Jason Naran. “How much fun can you really do?”
Last year, illegal fireworks caused a flame and part of Sanger’s Townhouse motel was burned down.
Naran said he had fully resumed last month after suffering huge financial losses.
“This is not what you want to play,” he said. “It’s not the game out there, it’s not. You want to have fun, but don’t have fun at the expense of others.”
Authorities are encouraging residents to participate in fireworks scheduled for the holidays, such as at Chukchansi Park in downtown Fresno.
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