Fewer Fires On The Fourth This Year

Fire Chief Kenneth Silva
Fire Chief Kenneth Silva

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Honolulu firefighters battled fewer fires this Independence Day, but more fireworks-related flames.

"It's always a major hurdle for us," said Chief Kenneth Silva with the Honolulu Fire Department.

On Tuesday, there were 113 fires on Oahu, fewer than the 133 reported last Independence Day.

But there were more fireworks-related fires this year. Seventy-eight, compared to 53 on the previous 4th of July.

Fire officials say it's a burden to battle fires ignited by fireworks and some type of ban is needed.

"And you know we protect the entire island from rescues to medical calls and when we have to respond to a lot of brush fires, it takes away from that protection. We have to balance our resources," said Silva.

Honolulu Police also spent a lot of time responding to fireworks-related calls. Nearly 600 calls, marking a 27% increase over last year.

"Anytime you have that type of danger to the community I would understand why they'd be pushing for a ban," said Capt. Frank Fujii, Honolulu Police Spokesperson.

But the residents we talked to say a fireworks ban would put a damper on the celebrations.

"It's a tradition. Kids everywhere would be said," said a Waikiki resident.

Police also say they made three fireworks-related arrests, but last year, they didn't make any on the July 4th holiday.