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City of Santa Maria cracking down on illegal fireworks ahead of Independence Day

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Posted at 5:47 PM, Jun 20, 2022

With the 4th of July approaching, it is not uncommon for Santa Maria residents to be woken up by illegal fireworks right outside their windows.

Officials with the City of Santa Maria say the only legal time to set off "Safe and Sane" fireworks is on July 4 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

"I didn't know, in fact, I thought fireworks were legal in this city because I heard so many of them," said Joan Creasy, who moved to Santa Maria just a few months ago. "We hear the loud fireworks all the time, at all hours, and in multiple directions, too."

That is why this 4th of July, the City of Santa Maria will introduce new technology to crack down on these illegal explosions.

"This year we are stepping up our enforcement," said Mark van de Kamp, public information manager for the City of Santa Maria. "We will be using an aerial device with video and GPS. It will fly over the city on the 4th of July weekend and it has the ability to pinpoint the location where fireworks are being set off."

While you may have already seen pop-up stands selling safe and sane fireworks throughout Santa Maria, city officials and residents want people to think first before setting off any fireworks ahead of Independence Day.

"We are a senior community, and it sets off all the animals, the dogs at night. It is disruptive," said Santa Maria resident Lisa Casillas-Siemsen.

"Pets and fireworks are not a good mix. It also extends to noise-sensitive residents. We have a lot of veterans who live in Santa Maria and they would rather not relive the sounds of combat with all these fireworks going off," van de Kamp added.

He says reports of illegal fireworks can be made on the City of Santa Maria's website.

People caught setting off illegal fireworks face fines of $1,000.