Illegal Fourth of July fireworks fill Albuquerque sky

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The Albuquerque sky was full of fireworks Tuesday night as people celebrated the Fourth of July – but not all of them were legal. 

In 2022, the city fielded more than 4,000 reports of fireworks. City officials encouraged people to use the CABQ 311 app to report illegal fireworks, but how did we fare this year when it came to illegal fireworks? 

“It started about 8 p.m. and my husband said he heard the last ones around 2,” said a Northeast Heights resident.  

Every year, fire officials warn people about the dangers of lighting illegal fireworks on the Fourth of July, and suggest leaving it up to the pros. 

“This was an abnormally loud year, I don’t know where they got the fireworks, but they got a bunch of them,” said the resident. 

Despite the warning, residents we spoke to – who preferred to stay anonymous– say it felt louder this year than previous years.

“It was like being in Ukraine. It was so very loud, and it went so long, and I think the thing that upset me the most is I never heard one siren. There was no official response, I mean the windows shattered,” said the Northeast Heights resident. 

Another resident says she couldn’t even go outside because it was so loud from the fireworks going off a few streets down. 

“It was definitely louder than I’ve heard it before, I mean, I went outside, and it made me jump it was so loud,” she said. 

The City of Albuquerque has an ordinance that prohibits the sale and use of aerial fireworks and ground devices within city limits. But that didn’t stop our cameras from catching a few people in the act.

Albuquerque Fire Rescue say they issued 123 notices to people to stop lighting illegal fireworks. 

Emergency Medical Services also responded to more than 620 calls, and there were 130 outside fires.