Fireworks on Bay Area streets 'bigger,stronger, louder' than years past

ALAMEDA COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- Law enforcement and fire officials across the Bay Area are concerned about a disturbing trend of nightly fireworks being launched in neighborhoods - In many cases illegal aerial mortars that are very dangerous.

Alameda County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Sgt. Ray Kelly said the amount of illegal fireworks is up because law enforcement resources have been focused on civil unrest and COVID-19 related issues.

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He believes seizures are down statewide. And the night sky is lighting up with booming big explosives that are scaring people and animals.

Sgt. Kelly said, "People aren't launching them into the sky. They are launching them horizontally, people are shooting those projectiles into neighborhoods. When those items explode lower to the ground that concussion is a lot louder."

"Officers are enforcing someone one block and they're happening five blocks down. It's really widespread," Richmond Police spokesperson Lt. Matt Stonebraker said.

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Oakland police department spokesperson Johnna Watson said, "we are listening to the tip lines. We're out talking to the community. We were out there working all last weekend."

There are a lot of complaints that the fireworks are bigger, stronger and louder than in past years.

Many agencies say they're planning to crack down as the July 4th holiday approaches.

Oakland Fire Dept. spokesperson Michael Hunt said, "The last thing we want to do is have people evacuate for any reason, especially a wildfire caused by fireworks."
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