Tag Archives: Fireworks

No Fireworks? Burbank Residents Still Making Plans for July 4th

Sporting events have been canceled, concerts and large gatherings have been canceled, and now the 4th of July has been canceled due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Well not exactly, the annual fireworks display at the Starlight Bowl has been canceled, and large crowds are still banned, no big barbeque with friends and family at the park, but Burbank residents are still planning on marking the day with stay-at-home activities.

“We will be in our backyard grilling dogs and burgers and swimming,” said Brent Brooks.
“We will be joined by our daughter and her boyfriend, who have been really good about distancing and quarantine.”

Thanks to the internet, virtual meetings have been the norm during the pandemic. Zoom, the internet meeting site is popular to use.

“My wife and I will be Zooming with friends in West Hills, and family in Utah, and New Jersey,” said Savino about his planned virtual 4th of July. “If Ribs U.S.A. is open for takeout or delivery, we’ll order our usual July Fourth fare (but, of course, will eat at home).  Maybe we’ll watch “Jaws”.

(Photo by Ross A Benson)

The Burbank police and fire department will have an increased presence over the weekend. Additionally, the BFD will have their volunteer program patrolling the streets looking for any incidents of concern. 

If you still yearn for big fireworks displays with all its excitement, there will be firework displays from around the country airing on television and streaming on the internet. The annual “Independence Day Celebration in the Capitol” is still scheduled–despite the surge of COVID-19 cases nationally and Washington DC still in phase two of its reopening–and is expected to draw large crowds. The 4th of July spectacular will be hosted by the President and First Lady and will feature live music and a special flyover by the Blue Angeles, the Thunderbirds, and vintage WWII airplanes. PBS will be broadcasting the show, and it will be live-streamed on the White House website.

Fireworks displays from around the country will be streaming on the web and airing on television. You can find a list on the Patch website and ABC7’s website. The Grand Park 4th of July Block Party held in Los Angeles will air on ABC7 and streamed live.

Illegal Fireworks Rattle Residents into Action

The Fourth of July arrived early this year—nearly a month and a half early – and Burbank residents are not enjoying the fireworks.

Terrorized, tortured, and just plain scared are adjectives people are using to describing the nightly barrage of illegal fireworks assaulting their communities since May. Residents are at their breaking point, and they want the city to do something to stop the nightly explosions keeping them up at night, sometimes until the early morning, and harassing their pets. 

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

Complaints of legal and illegal fireworks have exploded countywide and have extended to big cities across the nation. CNN recently reported that in the first part of June, Boston had a 2,300% increase in the number of complaints over the same time last year. While leaders in the legal fireworks industry have never seen sales shoot up so early in the year.

Despite all fireworks being illegal in Burbank, complaints of fireworks noise have doubled in Burbank, and city officials are not sure where the abundance of fireworks is coming from. Speculation is that they were purchased in other counties, other states, or in Mexico, where all types of fireworks are for sale to the public. Theories as to why firework usage is so much more intense this year include COVID-19 stay-at-home cabin fever or there is more availability of the fireworks. The LA Times reported fireworks seizures have been made throughout the state, last year the California Fire Marshals took in 30,000 pounds of illegal fireworks, with Irwindale police hauling in 2,000 pounds of illegal fireworks from an Irwindale home last week.

Fireworks are not unusual this time of the year, but there has been a heavier use of them this year. Finding the people setting off fireworks is very difficult. The police have to witness the person in the act of shooting off the fireworks, and pinpointing where explosions are coming from is very hard to do by the sound alone, said Sergeant Derek Green of the Burbank Police Department. Using fireworks in Burbank is a misdemeanor. If a resident can identify the person using fireworks, they should call the BPD and ask them to come out. The resident can then sign a citizen’s arrest, and the fireworks user will be sited.

Fireworks are dangerous. They can cause serious injuries and fires, said the BPD. On June 18, the fire department put out a small brush fire that was believed to have been started by fireworks.  Perpetrators and parents of children who cause damage with fireworks can be held liable and responsible for the cost of fire and police services responding to fireworks-related calls.

Burbank resident, Robin Randall started a group on NextDoor, a social media site, where residents of their own neighborhood can communicate with their neighbors, the Neighbors Against Illegal Fireworks. She formed the group after reading active threads on NextDoor complaining about the noise from fireworks. Comments like: “My two young kids jump out of their beds/cribs after every blast,” “My dogs and even my cat are traumatized,” and “I couldn’t take it anymore.…I called the cops for the first time in my life!” were common.

Randall has heard from a blind couple whose service dog was so afraid of the noise it stopped guiding them, a veteran with PTSD who couldn’t take explosions and parents with children having anxiety problems from the noise. She has even recorded videos of the explosions at night. Burbank resident Steven Reese wrote in an e-mail that his dog spends most evenings cowering in the shower from fear of the nightly explosions. Some nights they last into the early morning.


Many believe much of the noise is coming from North Hollywood on the border with Burbank. In a letter to the Burbank City Council, Randall explained the situation and suggested Burbank partner with North Hollywood to solve this mutual problem.

“Staff is reaching out to LA Councilmember David Ryu for collaboration on this. My theory is that since municipal fireworks events are canceled, there’s an abundant supply of fireworks for sale,” responded Mayor Springer.

As the mayor works to coordinate a plan of action with North Hollywood, distressed neighbors are organizing volunteers to pinpoint the firework explosions using the app Compass in an effort to catch the amateur pyrotechnicians.

Spectacular Fireworks Show Lights Up Burbank Sky

Burbank’s 2013 Summer Concert Series kicked off with its July 4th event at Starlight Bowl on Thursday.  Several thousand inside the Starlight Amphitheater enjoyed the music of High Street Band with a spectacular fireworks show that followed. Families picnicked on the grass area, while kids ran around to the music of yesteryear. Several thousand more lined the street below the Starlight Bowl to get a glimpse of the spectacular show.

July 4th @ Starlight-1

Kenn Lewis checks all the cannons prior to the firework show. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

July 4th @ Starlight-6

Several thousand packed the Starlight Bowl for this years July 4. event. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Kenn Lewis the licensed Pyro technician who was responsible for the fireworks display said there were over 300 different cannons that will be ignited during the display, that would last 20 minutes. The Burbank Fire Department had Fire Inspectors oversee his installation along with the firing of the fireworks. For fire prevention The Los Angeles City Fire Department had 2 water dropping helicopters staged and standing by on the Mesa that overlooks the Starlight Bowl parking lots. There were no spot fires following Burbank’s Fireworks show, and no injuries reported from the events at the Starlight Bowl or from fireworks in the city.


Fire Next to Burbank Business Caused by Illegal Fireworks

Burbank Fire Fighters were called to a reported structure fire at Samuel’s Florist near the corner of Victory Blvd. and Olive Avenue late Monday evening. Upon arriving on the scene, they found a tall Cypress tree well involved in flames. The fire was located in the driveway of the business next to a brick building.

Burbank  Fire Department knocked down this Cypress bush fire next to Samuel's Florist within minutes. The cause was possibly illegal fireworks.  (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank Fire Department knocked down this Cypress bush fire next to Samuel’s Florist within minutes. The cause was possibly illegal fireworks. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Firefighters found there was no spread of flames after checking the roofs of the nearby business.

A neighbor had reported hearing some fireworks going off minutes before the fire was reported.

The Burbank Fire Department along with nearby Fire Departments reminds Burbank residents that ALL FIREWORKS ARE ILLEGAL IN BURBANK, including even the ‘Safe and Sane’ type.


Civilians grabbed a garden hose prior to the Fire Departments arrival and knocked down a good part of the fire next to Samuel's Florist. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Civilians grabbed a garden hose prior to the Fire Departments arrival and knocked down a good part of the fire next to Samuel’s Florist. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank’s Centennial Party

It was the ‘Party of the Century’. It was the 100th anniversary of the City of Burbank Incorporation into a city and two years of planning went into the event. Robert Vincent takes you to the festivities that ended with a spectacular fireworks show to end the night. Tens of thousands citizens attended the event on July 8, 2011

Illegal Fireworks Set Off ‘Shots Fired’ Alarm

At approximately 9:50 p.m. Wednesday night, two very loud booms had residents, and even a police officer reporting shots being fired. One resident called police because they thought an electrical transformer had blown.

The booms, which were very loud, deep-sounding explosions, came from the area of Burbank and Victory Blvds.   A police officer out on a traffic stop at Chandler and Victory Blvd. observed the actual source of the booms — fireworks in the sky, and put to rest the reports of shots fired.   Another witness said the two large aerial salute fireworks exploded approximately 200 feet in the sky.

Apparently the source of the illegal fireworks was not found.   Incidentally, the 4th of July is more than 3 months away.