ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – On Saturday and Sunday over the holiday weekend, the Albuquerque illegal fireworks hotline line received nearly 800 reports. Most of them came in by phone but other residents used the new 311 app reporting tool.
Sunday night, volunteers worked feverishly answering phones at the Albuquerque Illegal Fireworks Hotline. The hotline has been in use for about 10 years but this year the city made it even easier to report activity.
Residents can now use the 311 app, skipping a call altogether. Albuquerque Fire Chief David Downey hopes people will try it.
“I know it’s very, very frustrating for people when they call and it rings or they get placed on hold. If they use the app and submit their information electronically it goes right to the dispatch center and we can dispatch right away,” said Chief Downey.
On a small street near 86th and Snowvista Boulevard, two people used the app to report their neighbors. Monday morning, people KRQE News 13 caught up with said those neighbors were putting on quite a show.
“It was kinda ridiculous because it was for a good two hours,” said one neighbor.
“The six years that I’ve lived here 4th of July is pretty bad. Every time, everyone has illegal fireworks, I’m talking the whole block,” said neighbor Donald Trujillo.
The evidence of that illegal firework show was all over streets and yards Monday morning.
Trujillo said, “It was really scary. I’m not sure what a war sounds like, but let me tell you, it sounded like bombs. It really did.”
It’s unclear who used the app in this neighborhood but they weren’t alone. Of the nearly 800 tips from Saturday and Sunday, AFD says nearly 300 of them came in from the app.
Residents say having a tool like that will make it easier than ever to drop a dime.
“I’m gonna download it because that sounds pretty cool. You can interact and you don’t have to call and talk to a live person,” said Trujillo.
Firefighters in the field try to respond to every single illegal fireworks report. They can’t always make it to all of them and can’t write out a citation unless they catch someone actually firing one off.
On Saturday and Sunday, 12 citations were given out.
You can reach the Illegal Fireworks Hotline at (505) 768-2900. The hotline will be open Monday from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. The 311 app can be downloaded on a smart phone or the website can be found here.