LOMPOC, Calif. - July 4 is just around the corner and cities nationwide are seeing an increase in fireworks. Lompoc is no exception.
Fireworks are allowed from 9:00 am to 10:00 pm on July 4.
Lompoc police are receiving numerous complaints about illegal fireworks being used now, so much so that they are doing patrols with unmarked vehicles to catch violators.
"Since May 1 until last week, we're up 1,300 percent as far as calls for service and complaints for fireworks," said Sgt. Scott Morgan of the Lompoc Police Department.
Police say that the increase in firework usage could be because of pandemic fatigue. People want something different to do at home.
Lompoc police say the only legal firework to buy is a Safe and Sane firework.
Safe and Sane fireworks are low to the ground and do not make noise.
Illegal fireworks make loud sounds, are aerial and pose a fire risk.
Stands in front of storefronts are selling legal safe and sane fireworks.
Large fireworks stands in Lompoc are run by several non-profits. The stand in front of VONS is run by the First Apostolic Church of Lompoc. Heidi Clark, who runs the stand, says she has seen an increase in sales this year.
They are offering curbside pickup because of the pandemic, and have changed their setup to make it COVID-19 safe.
Police say if you are caught using an illegal firework, you will be fined $1,500. If you use a safe and sane firework ahead of the fourth, you will be fined $500 for a first violation, $1,000 for a second, and $1,500 for a third.