LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – More dazzle in the sky, historically, means more destruction below, according to fire officials preparing to combat whatever flames ignite from illegal Fourth of July fireworks.

In a joint conference with the Clark County government, its fire department, and Las Vegas City leaders Wednesday afternoon, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) discussed new approaches to prevent new charred disasters based on those from years past.

“Some have even lost fingers, eyes,” City of Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman said inside LVMPD’s HQ.

“That traffic accident was caused because a bottle rocket landed on your car while driving,” Clark County Commissioner Marilyn Kirkpatrick said. “We know where the hot spots are.”

The pyrotechnics of concern are likely not purchased from the yellow stands that popped up in gas stations across the Vegas Valley last week. CCFD says they have permitted these sellers, who offer “safe and sane” fireworks approved for widespread and supervised use. Proceeds here benefit different local nonprofits.

Instead, Clark County Fire Department Deputy Chief Thomas Touchstone is concerned with those entering the area not just by the truck full, but sometimes the cargo full. LVMPD said they’ve already confiscated seven tons of illegal fireworks in just over a week.

“Firecrackers, Roman candles, skyrockets, and anything that is highly combustible and shoots in the air and explodes,” Touchstone said, acknowledging illegal pyrotechnics. “Usually, (a fire from these fireworks will) start in some grass or a roof or a palm tree on fire, and then that fire will subsequently spread.”

CCFD reported 99 fires between 6 p.m. to 11:15 p.m. last July 4. Through the next day, they responded to a total of 109 outside fires and 24 building fires, Touchstone said.

Based on data collected last year, specific zip codes and areas will see more police patrolling than before. This also includes disruptive house parties that Touchstone said usually are paired with illegal fireworks usage.

“We typically have fire engines running every which direction,” Touchstone said. “They’ll be responding from call, to call, to call, so response times can vary, and that’s the problem with all of these calls coming in, is it really taxes emergency response services.”

LVMPD Undersheriff Andrew Walsh hopes the “significant amount of money” involved with the seizure of illegal fireworks deters the use. The fine can run from $500 to $10,000, per state law.

“Historically, it’s the busiest day for our communications center where we receive the largest number of 911 and 311 calls,” Walsh said. “Hopefully, we’ll truly be able to have an impact on the front end, so they do not need to call 911.”

LVMPD is attempting to free 911 lines for life-threatening emergencies on Thursday and directs those reporting illegal fireworks usage to not call that number.

Instead, they urge tips – which can be submitted anonymously – to be sent to as they have in recent years.

Walsh says that will not provoke a police response to the area, but rather provide statistics to LVMPD for future holiday enforcement efforts.

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