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Yolo County Program Trades Safe Fireworks For Illegal Ones

YLO COUNTY (CBS13) - Fourth of July fireworks are a growing fear for firefighters and first responders, so one agency said they'll trade you for yours.

"Help us, as a community, minimize the impacts of dangerous fireworks," said Lt. Jason Winger with the West Sacramento Police Department.

Winger asked neighbors if they'd like to make a deal.

For the first time ever, in partnership with TNT and Phantom, the county took residents' illegal fireworks and offered safe ones in return free of charge.

"We have somebody bringing in and trading in fireworks for safe and sane fireworks," Winger said.

The agency hopes it will help prevent injuries and fires on the fourth.

"It poses an extreme fire hazard within the community," Winger said.

Yolo County is not alone. Sacramento County is cracking down, too, including instituting fines of up to $10,000 for anyone using them near the American River Parkway.

"The majority of the fires that occur on the American River Parkway are human-caused. The amount of people recreating in this area, the potential for them to be injured or killed is there," said Cpt. Keith Wade with Sacramento Metro Fire.

So how much of a problem are Fourth of July fireworks for first responders? In 2021, Metro Fire reported 76 fires on the Fourth: 23 were from illegal fireworks, which is something all agencies in the area are hoping to avoid.

"It remains a focus for all law enforcement and fire agencies," Winger said.

This program only lasted through Friday but the Yolo County bomb squad said residents can still turn over illegal fireworks, no questions asked.

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