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Violators Could Face Fines for Illegal Fireworks - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Violators Could Face Fines for Illegal Fireworks

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You've heard them. You've seen them. It's that time of the year our neighborhoods are lit up with the glow of fireworks and when police dispatch lines light up with reports of using them illegally.

It is against the law to light fireworks within Fargo city limits, but it doesn't stop many of us from doing it.

Fargo police says they get as much as a hundred calls a day and some of them end in serious consequences.

"There is a criminal sanction if they are caught with fireworks in our community," Lieutenant Joel Vettel said. "They are subject to a 100-dollar fine which is an infraction here."

Illegal within city limits means no roman candles. No bottle rockets. Nothing.

It's a phrase they've had to explain all too often.

"One we don't like to do, but one we're needed to do just to make sure that people are following the rules and following those city ordinances. Because they are put in place for a reason."

Fargo police officers say they've seen fireworks cause too much trouble.

"Every year we do receive calls to locations for personnel for injuries related to fireworks," Vettel said.

Most result in minor burns. But, officers have seen fingers, even hands, lost. And, in one unfortunate incident a few years back, even a life.

But, most around these neighborhoods haven't ever seen a fine.

"It's not as common for a variety of reasons. Just to sheer number of incidences we get in a time-frame and I think we have to respect that because literally we would be doing nothing else during that time period."

They let most off with a warning, but a second trip could mean confiscation.

"Most of the time once people are warned, they stop doing what they're doing and that's really what we want is that cooperation," Vettel said.

Fargo police says they do respond to every call they get.

But, they say their time is better spent educating people why not to set off illegal fireworks.

We should mention the rule applies to all fireworks, even sparklers.

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