LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – It’s still only late June, but for many across Southern California, it already sounds like Independence Day.
Communities across the Southland from North Hollywood to Pasadena are reporting are sharp increase in the use of illegal fireworks, spurring calls to police and frustrating residents who have very little recourse.
While there’s typically a jump in fireworks being set off in the run-up to the Fourth of July, this year many people say their dogs and other pets are being agitated by the sound of fireworks constantly going off.
New mom Jen Cain of North Hollywood says the explosions can be heard at all hours of the day.
“3:40 in the morning on a Tuesday, 7:45 in the morning in the middle of the week,” she said.
Terry Alford, who lives in Arleta, says the fireworks trigger his PTSD.
“They’re very much what I experienced in Vietnam,” Alford said.
The city of Pasadena says that their fireworks calls are up 400% this month, and they plan on upping surveillance and enforcement in response. The city says it will not be increasing patrols in its fire-prone areas.
Police at the LAPD North Hollywood station will be handing out fliers in the neighborhoods with the most complaints and it will be upping its enforcement as well.
Last week, a truckload of illegal fireworks valued at roughly $10,000 was seized by Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies on special assignment in Carson.
According to a national survey by Orlando Health, more than 2 in 5 Americans plan on buying their own fireworks this year, including roughly 16% who say that’s directly because of the COVID-19 cancellations.