ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Most people got it, but a handful did not as the Albuquerque Fire Department handed out 20 citations to people shooting off illegal fireworks over the Fourth of July holiday weekend.
"Several instances, I was told, the individual just got up and ran and left the fireworks in the streets," Albuquerque Fire Marshal Victor Marquez said.
In all a trunk load of illegal fireworks was confiscated by firefighters across the city.
While not many citations were handed out, there were more than 900 calls into the hotline reporting the illegal firework use over the three-day weekend...
But AFD Chief James Breen many of those calls were different people calling from the same neighborhood.
He said he doesn't believe this number adequately reflects the number of lawbreakers.
Instead it represents the vigilance that ordinary people had this year because of the extreme fire danger, he added.
Breen said the crews in the field had one of the calmest Fourth of July holidays in years.
"We saw very little activity, little spots throughout city, but for the most part, people were not using fireworks this year," Breen said. "It made a big difference in the number of outside fires we had."
And the chief said most of those fires were set off by legal fireworks.
One of those was that fire at the Freedom Fourth celebration at Balloon Fiesta Park. Sparks from the fireworks display flew into an old landfill sparking some of the trash.
Firefighters were ready and said they got the fire contained quickly.
As for those people caught with the illegal fireworks, they are now facing a potential $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.
And on Tuesday crews were still keeping an eye on the burn area at Balloon Fiesta Park to make sure it didn't flare up.
They were also cleaning up the mess left by the tens of thousands of people who showed up for the Freedom Fourth event.
A District Court judge has ordered city leaders respond to a petition filed by an animal activist on the city's trap-neuter-return approach of managing feral cats.
Police responded to dozens of weather-related crashes in only a matter of hours Sunday.
A small plane crashed at about 8 a.m. Sunday morning on the Canyon Rim Trail near N.M. 502 and the entrance of Los Alamos.
Morning Headlines and Forecast from KRQE New This Morning with Matt Mauro & Meteorologist Kristen Van Dyke.
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