No arrests or citations were issued in the Santa Clarita Valley as a result of illegal firework use on the Fourth of July this year, according to local law enforcement personnel.
Officials did note on Wednesday, however, they had preemptively seized more than 60 pounds of fireworks during a specialized operation before the night of the holiday.
In addition to no penalties being doled out by the SCV Sheriff’s Station to residents for using illegal fireworks, no awards were handed out to residents who reported illegal firework use, either.
“No firework citations or awards were issued. No arrests made,” said Deputy Natalie Arriaga, a spokeswoman for the local station. “In a proactive approach, approximately 60 pounds of fireworks were confiscated during the firework crime suppression.”
Arriaga said those who were found in possession of the fireworks were, instead of being put under punitive measures, educated on the dangers of possessing fireworks.
“When deputies respond to calls for service regarding use of fireworks, oftentimes they arrive to neighborhoods of large gatherings, or multiple persons, making it difficult to pinpoint who was setting off fireworks so that a citation can be issued,” the sheriff’s spokeswoman said. “Because of this, deputies will instead confiscate fireworks, preventing further use of any fireworks, and educate the group about the dangers of illegal firework use.”
Deputy Terry Jones, an investigator with the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department, Arson and Explosives Detail, also stated on Wednesday that the unit was not dispatched to Santa Clarita Valley over the Fourth of July weekend as a result of any alleged crimes involving explosives.
In the weeks leading up to the holiday weekend, as happens every year, community leaders and first responders from both the city of Santa Clarita and L.A. County warned residents not only about the personal danger that fireworks pose to pyrotechnic amateurs, but also the legal trouble one can find themselves in should their home fireworks show go wrong.
For instance, they stated that from 2012 to 2021, Cal Fire reported that fireworks fires burned 18,767 acres, resulted in $32.8 million in property damage and caused more than 75 injuries to fire service personnel and residents.
With that in mind, local officials reminded residents that all fireworks, including those labeled “safe and sane,” were illegal to use in L.A. County and those caught using illegal fireworks would be subject to expensive fines, possible jail time and would be held responsible for any blazes they caused.
Additionally, city officials offered a $500 reward for those who made reports of illegal firework use that ultimately ended in deputies catching the perpetrators.