San Bernardino County cracking down on illegal fireworks

In the aftermath of the deadly explosion at an Ontario home, San Bernardino County fire officials and law enforcement unveiled a new system to report illegal fireworks.

Video Transcript

- San Bernardino County is taking action in the aftermath of last month's deadly fireworks explosion in Ontario. It's setting up a new system designed to track illegal fireworks. Eyewitness News reporter Leticia Juarez shows us how the system works.

LETICIA JUAREZ: Last month, a massive explosion triggered by an illegal stockpile of fireworks rocked this Ontario neighborhood, killing two people and causing $3 million worth of damage to homes. It's this exact scenario that has Muscoy resident Jane Hunt Rubles worried about her neighborhood.

JANE HUNT-RUBLES: It's frustrating for people like me as I thought about it, I don't know exactly where they're coming from.

LETICIA JUAREZ: But starting today, she'll have another way to report illegal fireworks. San Bernardino County is launching a new illegal fireworks reporting system, which will allow residents to file complaints.

- The idea is that any resident can call in a tip. If you know someone who is buying, selling, stockpiling, or making illegal fireworks, you can report it.

LETICIA JUAREZ: Residents can access the system on San Bernardino County Fire's website and fill out a form anonymously if they choose. The information is then entered into a database and relayed to local law enforcement for targeted patrols.

MIKE HORTON: Law enforcement and fire will team up together during our fireworks patrols leading up to the 4th of July. And we will utilize our contact list citation program.

LETICIA JUAREZ: But officials stress without the public's input, they can't combat the problem.

MIKE HORTON: This problem is growing every year and we can't be effective without our neighbors, friends, families all pitching in to the effort.

LETICIA JUAREZ: Starting this weekend, San Bernardino County will hold its first of 10 illegal fireworks surrender days, where people can turn in their illegal fireworks, no questions asked.