With New Ordinance in Effect in Modesto, Homeowners Could Face Steep Fines for Illegal Fireworks

MODESTO -- Illegal fireworks that light up the night sky are also a beacon for officers cracking down on what they call dangerous behavior.

Now, with a new ordinance in effect in Modesto, police hope to get even more illegal fireworks off the streets and out of neighborhoods.

"Illegal fireworks are anything that explodes or goes up into the air or are modified 'safe and sane' fireworks,” Heather Graves, a spokeswoman for the Modesto Police Department said.

The ordinance was approved last year, 10 days after the Fourth of July. But this year it's in full effect just in time for next Tuesday.

Here's what's new -- if a roommate or a renter lights off illegal fireworks at your house you could face a $1,000 fine, regardless of if you even knew about the fireworks.

You could also find yourself with a citation if you throw a party and a guest decides to use them.

"Folks who are having fun with illegal fireworks, they already know that they're dancing on the fringe of what should and shouldn't be done,” said Kevin MacEagen, a property manager with Liberty Property Management in Modesto.

MacEagen said their leases say tenants are not allowed to use any kind of fireworks, even the legal kind.

"It can result in an eviction,” he said.

As we inch closer to the red, white and blue festivities, police said they'll be on patrol watching and listening for what should not be bursting in the air.

Officers add if you hear or see illegal fireworks please call 911 and try to be as specific as possible so officers can respond faster.​