UPDATE: KCFD, city of Wasco looking to partner to combat illegal fireworks

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UPDATE (5/19): The Kern County Fire Department and the city of Wasco are planning to work together in combating illegal fireworks.

KCFD Public Information Officer Andrew Freeborn said since the department created an online illegal fireworks tip form last June, it has received nearly 6,000 tips, many of which came in June and July. More than 230 reports came specifically from the Wasco area, he said.

To help combat illegal fireworks this year, Freeborn said KCFD is looking to work with Wasco’s community task force and that the department is looking to increase its public service announcements in an effort to educate residents about how to use safe fireworks and which fireworks are illegal.

“At the end of the day, we don’t want to see this activity,” he said. “It’s high-risk from a safety standpoint of physical health, high-risk for how it affects our pets, our emotional stability. It’s truly terrible that individuals are willing to do this with such callousness and disregard for their own neighbors.”

Wasco Mayor Alex Garcia said he is hopeful that KCFD and Wasco’s community task force can work together to address the problem.

“We really expect them to step up enforcement and be more proactive,” he said. “We need to think outside the box, be proactive and try to do things we haven’t done before.”

WASCO, Calif. (KGET) — The Wasco City Council is set to discuss a hot topic tonight — 4th of July fireworks.

The Kern County Fire Department is expected to provide a report regarding illegal fireworks at the meeting and how they’ve become a nuisance in the community.  

In previous years, the city held an annual fireworks show. However, given the COVID-19 pandemic, along with this year’s dry conditions and warning signs of an intense wildfire season, it’s unclear if there will be a fireworks show this year.

The City Council meeting will be held at 6 p.m. via Zoom.

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