Garden Grove to Crack Down on Illegal Fireworks

Garden Grove will be closing parks early July 4 to discourage firework use

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    The City of Garden Grove has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to illegal fireworks.

    Strike a match and it could cost you $1,000. That's the fine if you're caught setting off illegal fireworks in one Orange County city.

    Eight cities in Orange County and dozens more in Los Angeles County are preparing for the biggest summer holiday of the year -- the Fourth of July.

    Cities Wary of Legal Firework Use Ahead of 4th of July

    [LA] Cities Wary of Legal Firework Use Ahead of 4th of July
    For cities that allow certain types of fireworks, finding a balance between allowing sales and trying to control usage around the Fourth of July can be a challenge for law enforcement. Vikki Vargas reports from Garden Grove for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Friday, June 27, 2014.

    The city of Garden Grove is taking a zero-tolerance approach to prevent the public from firing off illegal fireworks.

    They're shutting down city parks and turning on sprinkler systems at sunset. Two-dozen officers and arson investigators will be deployed over the holiday weekend to watch for scofflaws with illegal pyrotechnics.

    Last year, the city issued 54 citations.

    "The parks were getting pretty thrashed, there were fireworks left everywhere," said Garden Grove Fire Department Capt. Paul Whittaker. "They need to be neat and clean."

    Reid Robbins, a Garden Grove business owner, said he didn't think the fines will deter anyone.

    "I actually have knowledge of people that have paid the fine," he said. "They'll pay the fine just to light their fireworks."

    City officials issued 45 permits to sellers of legal fireworks.

    Larry Hudson, who operates a stand for the Elks Lodge, said he can make up to $10,000 in four days selling fireworks, but is well aware of the mess they make.

    "I tell them, 'it's supposed to be in front of your house, no private property or empty buildings,'" Hudson said.

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