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September 22, 2023

Illegal fireworks net dozens of citations in Hollister

Hollister Police, Fire cited 46 for violations of muni code

Hollister police and firefighters issued 46 citations for the use and possession of illegal fireworks during the Fourth of July holiday period, according to authorities. 

The City of Hollister’s municipal code prohibits aerial and explosive fireworks, with each cited violation carrying a minimum fine of $1,000. Each repeated violation can result in higher fines.

From June 30-July 7, Hollister Police issued 44 citations to residents for violating this code, and the Hollister Fire Department issued two citations, Hollister Police Sgt. Bo Leland said. 

Also during that period, public safety authorities received 139 calls for service related to hazardous fireworks. Leland said police are not aware of any of those calls or incidents resulting in injuries. 

Hollister Fire Chief Bob Martin Del Campo said firefighters extinguished three small “spot fires” during the city’s official fireworks display July 1 at Brigantino Park. 

Fire authorities did not respond to a follow-up request for information on fire activity throughout Hollister during the Fourth of July celebration period. 

Hollister Police and Fire ramped up their enforcement of illegal fireworks on July 1, 2 and 4, Leland added. The police department on July 1-2 had five additional officers on duty looking out for and responding to fireworks violations. These included non-sworn code enforcement and community service officers, who were supervised by a sergeant. 

On July 4, the extra police personnel included five additional officers and a sergeant, Leland said. 

Authorities also used a drone to detect violations, resulting in some of the citations mentioned above. Many of the enforcement personnel were in unmarked cars detecting fireworks violations, Leland said. 

Cal Fire did not respond to any fireworks related incidents in unincorporated parts of San Benito County, according to Battalion Chief Josh Silveira. 

Michael Moore
Michael Moore is an award-winning journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor for the Morgan Hill Times, Hollister Free Lance and Gilroy Dispatch since 2008. During that time, he has covered crime, breaking news, local government, education, entertainment and more.

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