People in Fresno are being safer about fireworks, judging by the number of calls to the Fresno Fire Department on Monday night.
In 2015, Fresno Fire responded to 66 fire calls on July 4, more than half of which were grass or brush fires. On Monday, the department had 29 fire-related calls, 18 linked to fireworks.
Plus, no fireworks-related injuries were reported in all of Fresno County, the Fresno Fire Department reported.
“You can’t keep people from discharging fireworks, but I think more people were aware of their surroundings,” said Hector Vasquez, a spokesman for Fresno Fire.
He also said the fact that the Fourth of July holiday fell on a Monday kept people from partying too hard. “People had to work the next day,” he said.
Clovis Fire Department, which assisted with other agencies in the area, responded to two fires related to fireworks Monday night. One was a grass fire, and the other was a residential fire on the exterior of an apartment complex.
Clovis Fire said that residential blaze could have been worse if not for the bystander who spotted the flames and quickly took a hose to it.
There were no injuries at either fire, and no fireworks-related injury calls Monday night, Clovis said.
The Visalia Fire Department responded to six fires Monday night, four of which were determined to be caused by illegal fireworks. Visalia Police worked with the fire department to issue 59 citations for possession of illegal fireworks.
Violators will be fined $1,000, which is up from the previous $500 fine, Sgt. Damon Maurice said.
Three residential fires and one commercial blaze caused between $2,000 and $20,000 in damage, and one person was taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation. About 150 pounds of illegal fireworks were seized.