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Police, fire officials to crackdown on illegal fireworks

LAS VEGAS - A new campaign targets a major problem in the Las Vegas valley seen every year -- people launching illegal fireworks. 

With the July 4th holiday approaching, law enforcement agencies and others aim to educate about the consequences.

Police are now sharing a message on a new way you can report the dangerous activity.

"Over the years, we've had several significant fires and many injuries related to illegal fireworks and that's why we need to address this very serious problem more aggressively this year," said Clark County Fire Chief Greg Cassell.

Various government agencies are coming together for a new mission -- to catch people launching illegal fireworks on the Fourth of July.

"Our plan right now is to put out about four officers per area command which would be about 30 officers and each of those teams would have a firefighter with them," said Metro Chuck Callaway.

Expect task force teams patrolling neighborhoods for the illegal activity and taking action.

"Last year we had over 12,600 calls for service on the night of Fourth of July and many of those calls that come in are related to illegal fireworks," Cassell said. "That can potentially overload the system and delay response to other emergencies."

This year, law enforcement encourages not calling  9-1-1 or 3-1-1 about illegal fireworks. Instead, report the activity to a web address "Ispyfireworks.com."

Users can leave their information and pinpoint where neighbors launch illegal fireworks.

"Your report to that website will be used for future enforcement and for data collections so we can identify where our problem residences or where our problem issues are occurring," Callaway said.

Police know they can't catch everyone - but it's a start.

"If we can send a message and get cooperation from the public, I think it will go a long way," he said. "Law enforcement warning you run the risk of receiving a $1,000 citation and may be liable for a fireworks disposal fee which also costs a few hundred dollars.

Illegal fireworks in Nevada are considered anything that leaves the ground and explodes. Police may potentially be out a few days before and after the holiday to enforce this campaign.
 


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