Firecrackers - Fireworks

Raids Lead Cal Fire To Seize 50,000 lbs of Illegal Fireworks

Holly Quan
June 07, 2018 - 12:26 pm

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS Radio) - With a month before Independence Day and Cal Fire officials are announcing the seizure of 50,000 pounds of illegal fireworks. KCBS Radio's Holly Quan reports seven people from around the Bay Area are now under arrest.

This was the culmination of a three year investigation with details to be released at the Sacramento press conference later Thursday morning.

Over the last two weeks, raids were going on in cities like Oakland, Fremont and Modesto. Hauling in what's thought to be Cal Fire's biggest confiscation of fireworks in its history.

They raided homes, businesses, storage facilities and shipping containers. Aerial fireworks, things you shot out of a tube, bottle rockets and other explosives. In fact the Alameda County Sheriff's Bomb Squad had to be called out at one West Oakland raid last week because the discovery of hazardous chemicals. 

Cal Fire Deputy Director Mike Mohler says this is serious business. "The visits to the emergency rooms, it's the maiming of children from people that think it's a simple firecracker," Mohler said. "You have to think about a simple bottle rocket leaves your backyard and may land on your neighbor's roof and burn their property down."

Now comes the problem of getting rid of the stash safely.

It's actually expensive to dispose of fireworks and there's not enough money in the state budget to keep up with the confiscations.