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December 6, 2023

Illegal fireworks in Gilroy net citations on Fourth of July

Firefighters respond to 14 fires

Gilroy Police handed out 33 citations for illegal fireworks during the night of July 4.

According to police, three of those were criminal citations.

In Gilroy, illegal firework use may lead to fines and imprisonment with administrative citations starting at $1,000. Any subsequent violations start at $2,000. 

According to city officials, subsequent violations are calculated on an ongoing basis, so if an offender was issued one citation in 2022, any citations issued in 2023 will be considered a subsequent violation and thus subject to the larger fine amounts. 

Twelve additional officers were on patrol during the night, whose shifts were funded from fees collected from “safe and sane” fireworks sales in the city. Officers spread out through the city in both marked patrol cars and undercover vehicles, and used drones to identify where the fireworks were being set off.

In total, officers handled 382 incidents, with 112 of those calls being related to fireworks, according to police.

Gilroy firefighters also had a busy Fourth of July night, responding to 32 calls that included medical emergencies, vehicle collisions, vegetation fires and a structure fire, according to the Gilroy Fire Department.

Firefighters responded to 14 fires, including at Christmas Hill Park near Grenache Way started by fireworks. Witnesses said the fire spread fast due to the dry conditions at the park, but was quickly stomped out thanks to the prompt response from firefighters.

The Gilroy Police Department is asking the public to call the non-emergency line at 408.846.0350 to report ongoing fireworks violations. In emergencies, use 9-1-1.

Staff Report
Staff Report
A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.

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