While there's no way Bay Area law enforcement agencies can stop all the illegal fireworks being set off on the Fourth of July, they still tried to make a dent on Wednesday night.
Shortly before 9 p.m. Wednesday night, NewsChopper 2 took footage of countless illegal fireworks being set off all across Oakland. Pyrotechnics could be seen getting set off on the streets, in parks and in the middle of traffic.
Extra police and fire crews were on patrol to act as a deterrent in Oakland, but based on the activity happening Wednesday night, the plan wasn’t particularly successful.
In East Palo Alto, an additional 12 officers were on patrol and they stayed busy confiscating a lot of illegal fireworks.
Even if you can't see the fireworks, you can hear them. The sky over some parts of the city can resembles an amusement park.
"They have some Great America-grade fireworks. The big boom ones," observed East Palo Alto Police Sgt. Jerry Alcaraz.
Alcaraz said the department gets about 30 calls on a normal night. Tuesday night, they received 150 calls; 90 percent of those for fireworks.
Wednesday night was expected to be even worse.
"Probably from about 9 to 1, it will be out of control," said Alcaraz.
Officers said they would be confiscating fireworks all night long.
They caught Jose in the Village neighborhood. He said he was planning to set them off until they took them away.
About seven miles away in Redwood City, the San Mateo County Office of Public Safety Communications was dispatching for East Palo Alto Police.
Shot Spotter, which tracks gunfire in East Palo Alto, can pick up fireworks as well. On Wednesday night, night a filter was on Shot Spotter to keep fireworks from overwhelming the system and the officers in the field.
"Unfortunately, just because its the 4th of July," said Alcaraz. "It could be the 10th of July and we still get a lot of gunfire calls."
The fireworks confiscated are expected to be worth in the tens of thousands of dollars.
The explosives will eventually be taken to the fire department to be destroyed.
Watchdogs are questioning an exclusive agreement between the City of Oakland and a non-profit group, tapped to lead a multi-million dollar project to redevelop the area around the Coliseum BART station.