By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Over a quarter ton of fireworks were surrendered in exchange for Dodgers tickets, Universal Studios passes and gift cards, city officials said Thursday.

The fireworks were surrendered to authorities in Los Angeles’ first-ever buyback event on Wednesday. Authorities throughout the region are working extra hard this year to curb the use of fireworks, especially since the state is in the grip of worsening drought conditions.

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“This program tested a new tool in our citywide effort to combat the use of illegal fireworks,” Los Angeles city Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez said in a statement. “It’s inaugural success shows promise for a larger city-wide effort that can return peace to our neighborhoods and enhance public safety for residents.

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The fireworks buyback event took place at Brand Park in Mission Hills. Between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., a total of 78 people showed up to surrender fireworks in exchange for Dodgers tickets, Universal Studios passes, and gift cards to Starbucks, Walmart, and Target.

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The pandemic saw a huge spike in the use of illegal fireworks throughout Southern California. Large caches of illegal fireworks have caused major explosions twice this year, including a fatal incident in Ontario this past March, and another blast from inside an armored vehicle as the LAPD worked to clear one South Los Angeles home.