Officials seize nearly 80K lbs of fireworks at California border


LA CAÑADA FLINTRIDGE, Calif. (CNS) – Nearly 80,000 pounds of illegal fireworks were seized during a two-month enforcement effort at the California-Nevada border in an effort to reduce the chance of injuries, fires and property damage, it was announced Thursday.

The announcement of 79,411 pounds of dangerous fireworks seized came at news conference by state and local fire officials in the Los Angeles-area city of La Cañada Flintridge, a day after a huge explosion in a South L.A. neighborhood by the Los Angeles Police Department bomb squad during an effort to dispose of illegal fireworks.

The enforcement effort occurred throughout May and June, said California State Fire Marshal Mike Richwine.

“There is no excuse for breaking the law and attempting to transport illegal fireworks into California, Richwine said. “The illegal fireworks our peace officers have seized puts a dent into the potential devastating injuries, fires and damage to property that these dangerous devices pose.”

In addition to the fireworks seized at the border, officers conducted 932 traffic stops, issued 215 citations for dangerous fireworks and other violations and arrested three people for what were described as “various crimes.”

“The use of illegal fireworks continuously poses a major threat that results in firefighters responding to hundreds of fires and medical emergencies. Each fiscal year, the state seizes over 220,000 pounds of fireworks requiring disposal, with over 280,000 pounds collected since July 1, 2020,” Cal Fire wrote in a news release.

“In the past five years, firefighters have had to responded to over 5,000 emergencies caused by fireworks, with last year’s incidents skyrocketing over three times more the number of incidents than average. These incidents caused serious injuries and millions of dollars in property damage.”

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