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Fire departments, police receive hundreds of calls for service over July 4th weekend

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Posted at 6:40 PM, Jul 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-06 23:32:26-04

Fire Departments across the Central Coast were geared up and ready to go this year for the Fourth of July celebrations.

It was an eventful weekend that resulted in a high volume of calls for fire departments around the coast.

"We had approximately 400 calls over the weekend, closer to 200 for the Fourth of July," said CAL FIRE SLO spokesperson Adan Orozco.

According to CAL FIRE SLO, this year was the busiest year they've had in a while.

"Speaking to our investigator who was on duty that day, he said it's been the busiest 4th of July in the last nine years," said Orozco

Similar to previous years, they say they do try to plan ahead to be prepared.

"We're always going to increase staffing, we're always going to increase our patrols and just be ready to go because you never know what can happen," Orozco said.

Even with the sky filled with fireworks, only a few calls were fireworks-related.

"22 fires that were called in and 5 were fireworks-related fires," said Orozco.

Those fires were extinguished that same day.

Templeton Fire reported a small fire in front of Tempelton High School Saturday afternoon due to fireworks, but it was put out quickly.

Santa Maria Fire says this Fourth of July did bring a high volume of calls.

Santa Maria Batallion Cheif Tony Clayburg said, "From Friday at 8 p.m. til Monday morning, we had approximately 80 calls for service, 53 of those happened on Fourth of July."

No major injuries were reported in Santa Maria.

"We have had fires on Fourth of July. In the last few years we've been lucky enough to not have major incidents," said Clayburg.

Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center in San Luis Obispo said they did see one person for a fireworks-related injury this past weekend. That person was flown to another hospital for treatment.

Meanwhile, in Santa Maria, the police department issued around 30 citations for illegal fireworks.

Lompoc police received 110 fireworks-related calls between Friday and Monday and the fire department received 45 calls for service. Police also issued two citations for illegal fireworks.

Santa Barbara police received 475 calls for service on Saturday and Sunday, a 45% increase in calls over the previous five-year average. Police say 158 of those calls were fireworks-related.