LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Illegal fireworks are lighting up Southern Nevada skies well before Independence Day. Clark County noticed a substantial increase in complaints compared to last year.
“This year is way sooner,” said resident Kassie Kern. Anthony Paz said, “Fireworks, you know, they’ve been going off kind of late sometimes, but yeah, it’s kind of annoying at that time, like around 10 p.m.”
Paz and his girlfriend live near the northwest Valley. Both said the recent pops cause a concern because of their dogs.
“He doesn’t like it that much. He, like, barks and goes crazy,” explained Kern.
Clark County staff noted a recent spark in reports. Nearly 2,600 complaints on the “I Spy Fireworks” website between June 1-22. This is substantially more from the 258 complaints during the same time last year.
Most of the illegal fireworks use happened over the weekend, with more than 1,800 complaints between Friday and Sunday. An interagency campaign called “You Light It, We Write It” continues to address the issue.
“Many constituents are already calling and complaining across the Valley,” said Clark County Commission Chair Marilyn Kirkpatrick.
Kirkpatrick said one of the worst areas in the Valley for illegal fireworks is the Mountain’s Edge neighborhood. She wants to crack down on illegal fireworks and make changes to state law.
“At some point, we hope to do what they do in other states where you can take a video, and you could send it in and a citation is issued,” explained Kirkpatrick. “But in our state, we’re not there yet.”
The explosions are also causing concerns among certain populations.
“We’re already seeing an increase in the animals in the animals shelters, which sometimes that takes us a week or two weeks to get those animals back home,” said Kirkpatrick. “We’re already hearing increases from our veterans. It’s very disturbing to many of them.”
The only legal fireworks are labeled “safe and sane.” Those are sparklers and fireworks staying on the ground.
“What goes up must come down, and for many of the illegal fireworks, we don’t know where they’re going to come down,” said Kirkpatrick. “… I just ask everyone to do their part and think about somebody else.”
These fireworks could lead to fires and destroy property, a matter law enforcement and government leaders continue to take on.
The safe and sane fireworks are permitted starting this Sunday through July 4.
To report illegal fireworks activity, click here.