By Laura Haefeli

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Lighting up the night sky with illegal fireworks has become a popular trend leading up to the Fourth of July, so state and local agencies are cracking down.

“I don’t know if this year people are extra bored because of shelter in place orders. The reason they’re illegal is that they’re unsafe,” said Daniel Berlant, with Cal Fire.

Over the course of just one week in June, Cal Fire confiscated nearly 50,000 pounds of illegal fireworks.

“You could face fines up to $50,000 and even punishable for a year in jail. It’s just not worth a couple minutes of potential fun,” said Berlant, who explained that any firework that explodes in the air and is not a part of a public display is considered an illegal firework. “They cause injuries, they start fires and we just can’t afford to have that, especially in the middle of fire season.“

Any fireworks that can’t leave the ground and have the state seal of approval are ok to use. Angelica Brenson went to West Sacramento to get her legal fireworks.

“We got the whole stand, I think,” she said. “None of them shoot up in the air.”

But not everyone has a neighbor like Brenson.

“I’ve actually reached out to a few neighbors directly to try and handle it myself instead of calling the police department,” said Jacque White, of West Sacramento.

Agencies all over the region area are getting involved in cracking down on illegal fireworks. Law enforcement in Tracy, Lathrop, as well as the California Highway Patrol have all made major fireworks busts in the last several days and it’s all in an effort to put safety first.

Cal Fire normally suggests people go to their local fireworks show as an alternative to using illegal fireworks, but with very few shows in our area due to coronavirus, Cal Fire has had a hard time convincing people to not set off fireworks.

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