Watch CBS News

Cal Expo's Fourth Of July Fireworks Show Canceled For 3rd Year In A Row; Staffing Shortage Blamed

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) -- Cal Expo is the latest to cancel their fireworks show again - and it's for reasons beyond the pandemic.

But fire officials worry this will only add to the number of illegal fireworks shows in residential areas.

It's the third year in a row the Fourth of July show won't go on at Cal Expo. In an online statement, organizers said the pandemic has pressed pause on public events.

"We are facing staffing and resource shortages that have created unexpected difficulties. Right now, the most important thing for Cal Expo is to focus our attention on the upcoming California State Fair & Food Festival," the statement read.

Firefighters say the number of fires they respond to around the Fourth of July shoots up eight to ten times than an average day.

"I don't go to the fireworks shows anymore because there is so many personal ones going on and they are great and they last longer," said one resident.

That's what fire officials are worried about, however.

"They had a fire, and the neighbors put it out," said the resident. "We're not talking things on the ground, we're talking about lots of rockets bursting."

Sacramento Fire Marshall Jason Lee says illegal fireworks from online or out of state are a big concern. He hopes Sacramento's "social host" ordinance adopted last year, which targets homeowners, will continue to make an impact.

"It's $1,000 for the first violation and $5,000 if you have three or more violations," Lee said.

In 2021, 120 citations were given out in one week in Sacramento.

Lee's office brings in extra staff for enforcement this time of year from city code enforcement, the city attorney's office, and the police and fire departments.

"We'll mail [citations] directly to the owner after the Fourth of July," Lee said.

Authorities encourage the public to use the "Nail-Em" app to report illegal fireworks shows or call the fire department hotline.

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.