Cal Fire makes one of the largest illegal fireworks seizures in state history | TheUnion.com

Cal Fire makes one of the largest illegal fireworks seizures in state history

Submitted to The Union

SACRAMENTO — With the Fourth of July holiday just around the corner, Cal Fire announced one of the largest seizures of illegal fireworks in state history on Thursday, according to a release.

Following a months long investigation, Cal Fire law enforcement officers arrested seven individuals and seized over 49,000 pounds of fireworks over the past two weeks in connection to a large-scale illegal firework ring.

Law enforcement officers found these suspects have been illegally importing, transporting, storing, distributing and selling illegal and dangerous fireworks throughout California for more than 30 years.

Cal Fire law enforcement officers seized the illegal fireworks stored at locations in Copperopolis, Modesto, Salida, Hayward, Walnut Creek and Oakland. In addition a load of dangerous illegal fireworks, ready for transportation, was discovered. Officers also seized over $115,000 as well as a variety of computers, cell phones, firearms and personal items.

This latest enforcement action is part of Cal Fire's broader mission to protect the public and natural resources, including Fire and Life Safety Laws.

On Independence Day, in a typical year, fireworks account for two out of every five reported fires in the U.S., more than any other cause. On average each year, fireworks in California start 18,500 fires, including 1,300 structure fires and 300 vehicle fires. These fires, on average, cause three deaths, 40 civilian injuries, and $43 million in direct property damage.

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"In California, we have a zero tolerance for the use and sale of illegal fireworks," said Chief Ken Pimlott, director of Cal Fire, in the release. "With the increase in large, devastating fires across the state, we cannot stand by and allow this type of activity to occur, threatening not only property and natural resources, but the lives of the citizens we protect."

Learn more about firework safety at ReadyforWildfire.org or http://www.fire.ca.gov.

Source: Cal Fire

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