BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Before you go and light up fireworks on the Fourth of July, you should know how Kern County Fire Department and Bakersfield Fire Department are keeping track and handing out fines for those breaking the law.
More than 3,000 pounds of illegal fireworks have been confiscated by Kern County Fire Department.
Illegal fireworks put everyone at risk. From medical emergencies to house fires, it’s not a good idea and the fines can cost you thousands.
“The first time they are fine it’s $1,500 dollars,” Capt. Andrew Freeborn, spokesperson for the Kern County Fire Department said. “The second time that person gets a fine that’s $2,000. The third time is $2,500.”
“We’re taking this seriously,” Aaron Duncan the Kern County Fire Chief said. “Every piece of vehicle, every firefighter we have that can work will be working on the Fourth of July.”
The Kern County Fire Department is teaming up with the Bakersfield Fire Department.
They’re using their newest technology, a 10-foot-long drone that can fly up to 3,000 feet in the air. It has a camera that can accurately identify where people are lighting illegal fireworks.
“You’re not going to see these drones,” Duncan said. “These drones are going to be high in the air. You won’t hear them and you won’t see them.”
Last year there were 77 fires during the Fourth of July. There were also four traumatic injuries connected to fireworks and 5,000 pounds of illegal fireworks were confiscated.
Both city and county fire departments say if you want to see fireworks just go to a show.
“Please do not call 911,” Ryan Alsop the Chief Administrative Officer of Kern County said. “They are strapped on this holiday. They are moving everywhere and taking care of real life and death emergencies.”
If you see anyone shooting off illegal fireworks in your neighborhood you should report it. Reports can be made throughout the year online.
You can click on this link to the online illegal firework reporter.