On Thursday, authorities in California seized nearly 50,000 pounds of illegal fireworks in the Bay area, making it one of the biggest firework busts in the state’s history, reported KRON.
The seized explosives, enough to fill truckloads, were found on properties in Copperopolis, Modesto, Salida, Hayward, Walnut Creek, and Oakland.
Seven people were arrested for “illegally importing, transporting, storing, distributing, and selling illegal and dangerous fireworks throughout California for more than 30 years,” Cal Fire said.
Other items were seized, including over $115,000 in cash, a variety of computers, cell phones, firearms, and personal items.
State Fire Marshal Dennis Mathisen said that there are ramifications for the whole state even though the busts occurred primarily in Northern California, according to Capradio.
Cal Fire Chief Ken Pimlott added: “In California, we have a zero tolerance for the use and sale of illegal fireworks.”
“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,” he said.
According to KRON, around 18,500 fires, 1,300 structural fires, and 300 vehicle fires are caused by fireworks each year.
Thursday’s seizure is a big step towards safeguarding against fires in the state, said Cal Fire.
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