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Merced Police and Fire Crack Down on Illegal Fireworks

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With Merced residents illegally shooting off fireworks at all hours, the city’s police chief and fire chief have launched a crackdown that includes citing property owners.

“It’s not just an annoyance, it’s dangerous,” police chief Thomas Cavallero said last week. “And it’s going to be costly” for offenders.

Citations for igniting bottle rockets and other flying fireworks begin at $1,000.  The owner of the property where fireworks are illegally discharged also can receive a $1,000 citation.

The effort comes with California mired in a drought creating tinderbox conditions throughout the state.

Watch: Merced Police and Fire Chiefs Address Illegal Fireworks

It’s illegal to light even so-called “safe and sane” fireworks in Merced before noon on June 28 and past noon on July 6. But that hasn’t stopped scores of people from setting off barrages of fireworks and firecrackers.

“Every day I hear (fireworks),” fire chief Derek Parker said. “We have to do something about this. … The biggest thing is, we just have to get the fireworks off the street. … It’s about time we took a little different approach.”

Report Illegal Fireworks on Connect Merced App

Cavallero and Parker urge residents to use the Merced Connect app to report illegal fireworks.

The app is free and available at the Apple Store and Google Play. In addition to allowing you to report illegal fireworks, residents can obtain other information about the city’s government.

Merced Fireworks Rules

    • Safe and sane fireworks with the State Fire Marshal seal of approval can only be used from noon June 28 through noon July 6.
    • The non-safe and sane fireworks are illegal year-round, 24-7.
    • If fireworks can leave the ground or go up in the air they are illegal. Illegal fireworks include cherry bombs, bottle rockets, mortars, aerial shells, M-80s, and firecrackers.
    • Illegal fireworks don’t have the seal of approval from the California State Fire Marshal.

Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email