OAKLAND (CBS SF) – The sound of illegal fireworks has become a nightly soundtrack for many people in the San Francisco Bay Area, but authorities say complaints about high explosives started earlier than usual this year.
Nightly fireworks have become a regular occurrence on the streets of Oakland. They were in the middle of Grand Ave. launched during a celebration on June 19th.
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Illegal fireworks shows have also become more common in San Jose, the Peninsula, and San Francisco. It is a phenomenon that is being featured on social media across the county.
“We just got here to get a couple of beers and dinner and we just heard a bang, bang, bang and bang – we thought it was gunfire,” said Alex of San Francisco, who refused to take his Surname to be indicated.
The noise didn’t just scare people.
In San Francisco’s Hayes Valley neighborhood, someone posted a sign asking who will set off fireworks at night to please stop.
“All of our dogs are freaking out and they’re scared of the loud noises,” read the sign.
For some, fireworks can be boring. For others, they have become part of rallies and protests for social justice or an act of defiance towards the police.
“I think people are obviously outraged and trying to express that, so I think you want you want and show how you want,” said a woman identified as Joey in San Francisco.
Oakland Councilor Noel Gallo says the problem is the worst he has seen in his life. He grew up in East Oakland.
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“Ordinarily we’d celebrate July 4th and shoot the fireworks for three or four days, but now it’s become a habit for you to hear the fireworks every night from 9 a.m. to 3 a.m.,” Gallo said. “But now people are shooting from their guns.”
He picked up cartridge cases when he volunteered for street cleaning in Oakland this weekend.
“The reality is that our police and firefighters have their hands free right now, but we are at the beginning of the fire season,” said Gallo.
The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office reported an increase in complaints about fireworks Monday and suggested calling the department’s non-emergency number to report incidents.
FIREWORKS: We receive complaints about an above-average use of illegal fireworks. The repeated loud explosions affect certain members of the community, including pets and livestock. There is also a risk of fire. Call our non-emergency number 510 667-7721.
– Alameda County Sheriff (@ACSOSheriffs) June 22, 2020
Oakland Police Department says there will be more forays during the July 4th vacation.
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Those caught in fireworks can be fined and fined up to $ 10,000.