Fire chief says Bakersfield’s Fourth of July kept department busy

Fire chief says Bakersfield’s Fourth of July kept department busy

Bakersfield Fire Department Chief Doug Greener said his department was kept busy on Fourth of July due to rampant use of illegal fireworks across the city.

During an appearance on the July 5 episode of “First Look with Scott Cox,” Greener said, “there was more than enough illegal activity to keep our guys busy for weeks if we could get to everybody.”

Later in the day, the fire department said it had issued 50 citations for illegal fireworks.

For weeks, Greener has been spearheading a campaign, along with The Bakersfield Californian columnist Lois Henry, to reduce the number of illegal fireworks used in Bakersfield. The department has utilized drones to pinpoint problem areas.

Greener said the department, which has 24,000 likes on its Facebook page, was closely monitoring feedback on social media, where many people complained about the excessive use of fireworks. Greener, however, said it’s almost impossible for the department to fully enforce ordinances prohibiting illegal fireworks.

“We need to get a handle on this from the top down, not just locally,” said Greener, who prefaced the statement by saying that federal and state officials should be brought into the enforcement conversation. “It’s a difficult issue.”

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