Watch CBS News

Illegal Fireworks Flow Into California, Some By The Truckload

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) - Chances are we could see and hear more illegal fireworks across the region tonight.

State fire officials say they're confiscating more this year than ever before.
So where are people getting them?

What sounded like a war zone erupting in the night sky, was an illegal fireworks show captured off of Flores Way in Sacramento's Meadowview neighborhood.

In Rio Linda, Candace Taylor says it was no different.

"The rockets started going off all around this whole entire area," she said.

Taylor says it was non-stop until two in the morning. She and her husband were prepared for the unwelcome show, with hoses and fire extinguishers at the ready.

We just didn't know if one of these bottle rockets -- these devices that launch into the air -- would land on our house," she said.

T\wo vegetation fires happened just a few miles from Taylor's house. Sac Metro says fireworks were being used in the area but have not confirmed the cause.

Cal Fire has already confiscated around 40,000 more illegal fireworks this year, compared to last year, so where are these illegal fireworks coming from? Bryan Gouge with Cal Fire says, mainly Nevada, where they're legal.

"We're seeing people driving from California into Nevada where they're swinging through and bringing them back into California," said Gouge, who's in charge of managing fireworks disposal for the entire state.

He says there are different levels of fireworks smuggling, including organized crime, where people bring large amounts into the state and sell them.

"Essentially you have a black market that's created within California," he said.

There's no checkpoint system in place to stop that black market.

This year, local jurisdictions across the state have passed stricter ordinances. Gouge says he's now waiting to see if it works and whether it will keep illegal fireworks out of neighborhoods.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.