For those with small dogs or sensitivity to noise, the illegal and ongoing fireworks in the city of Yucaipa have been excessive. Yucaipa resident Marion Lovelace attended the Yucaipa City Council meeting on Monday, July 8, to express her frustration.

“Our law enforcement is awesome. They are professionals and good at what they do. But unfortunately like other cities around us, the Fourth of July has fireworks. You can have a location and call in and still have it going on for three and a half hours. It was terrible this year. Worse than last year.”

Yucaipa Police Department worked closely with Yucaipa Fire Department to crack down on violations.

“For the Fourth of July, Yucaipa Fire Department/CAL FIRE added three of our Law Enforcement officers to collaboratively assist Yucaipa PD with fireworks enforcement operations,” said Battalion Chief Grant Malinowski. “CAL FIRE Law Enforcement did seize illegal fireworks in the city of Yucaipa but were unable to issue any citations. Yucaipa Fire Department did not receive any fireworks related fires or injuries around the Fourth of July holiday.

Prior to the fourth, our CAL FIRE Law Enforcement officers along with Redlands Fire Department and San Bernardino County DA’s office were able to seize a street value of $21 million of illegal fireworks through enforcement operations.”

Yucaipa Police Department, deputies were also out on the Fourth of July, and on subsequent days.

Lt. James Porter said YPD has been working vigilantly on the illegal firework activity in town.

“Between July 1 and July 8, we received approximately 120 fireworks calls,” said Porter. “Many were duplicates and combined together. In total we responded to approximately 50 of those calls – often they combine calls together and we only respond to one of many of those calls. In most cases, the calls were anonymous, area checks or had a request from the reporting party that we not contact them / no contact was desired.”

Yucaipa Police Department issued two citations for illegal fireworks and seized about 25 pounds of fireworks. On July 4, three prevention officers from CAL-FIRE worked in collaboration with YPD to enforce the zero fireworks law.

However, Porter said, “Fireworks laws are really tough to enforce. To write a citation, we need to find a person with the fireworks physically in their possession and usually we are there after the fireworks are over.”

On a broader scale, according to a press release by CAL FIRE, CAL FIRE Law Enforcement Officers from the San Bernardino Unit recently participated in a multi-agency fireworks seizure operation in several areas of San Bernardino County.

The press release said, through the course of the operation, 125,124 pounds of illegal fireworks with a street value of approximately $21 million dollars were confiscated, 453 citations were issued and four arrests were made within San Bernardino County.

“CAL FIRE Law Enforcement led this operation with the assistance of the CAL FIRE/Office of the State Fire Marshal, San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office and Redlands Fire Department.

“This is a significant volume of illegal fireworks removed from the flow of fireworks into the greater Los Angeles basin. Every pound of illegal fireworks confiscated potentially reduces fire starts as well as injuries and death caused by their use,” said Glenn Barley Unit Chief of the CAL FIRE San Bernardino Unit.

Every year, an average of 18,5000 fires are caused by fireworks, including structure fires and vehicle fires with an average of $43 million in property damage.

For information, visit www.readyforwildfire.org/more/fireworks-safety/

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