At least 24 Manteca residents that had a blast with illegal fireworks through Thursday night are going to pay a hefty price.
They each face $1,000 administrative citation fines. That figure only includes citations issued by the Manteca Fire Department. The number of citations Manteca Police issued on Wednesday and Thursday was not available. In additional Manteca Fire personnel were out on Friday night and will be again tonight looking for the use of illegal fireworks.
Forty-six people have paid fines in the past three years for illegal fireworks costing them a combined $45,000. Virtually every administrative citation issued has resulted in the $1,000 fine being levied.
The city’s host ordinance requires only that the property where fireworks are launched from be identified and not the person actually setting off the fireworks. Not only is that significantly easier to verify, but because it is through the administrative process and not the court system the citations are resolved fairly quickly with the city prevailing in the vast majority of cases.
The fine falls on the person in control of the property where they are launched from whether it is a homeowner or a renter.
The goal is to make the financial hit hard enough to force people to drastically cut down on illegal fireworks.
Fireworks caused more than $250,000 in damage to two homes in the 200 block of Derrick Avenue in southeast Manteca on the Fourth of July at 10:52 a.m.
Battalion Fire Chief Bill Canfield indicated an investigation pinned the start of the fire on improperly disposed fireworks placed in a trash can on the side yard between the structures.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email firstname.lastname@example.org