Pittsburgh officials warn people about setting off fireworks after several trees catch fire

PITTSBURGH — With many public fireworks shows canceled as Allegheny County leaders try to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, people across the region are lighting displays from home.

In just the last month, Pittsburgh police received 137 fireworks complaint calls. That is a 389% increase over the 28 calls they got over the same period last year.

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The spike is happening across the country though. That’s why public safety officials are reminding residents that even the legal consumer fireworks pose significant dangers to people and property.

Pittsburgh Public Safety tweeted a photo of a pine tree that was hit by fireworks Friday night in Troy Hill. Three other trees across the city caught on fire as well from home displays.

A fireworks task force was formed last week to address the illegal use of fireworks in city neighborhoods and to respond to 911 calls about them. City law prohibits the use of fireworks, even legal ones, within 150 feet of any structure.

They are also not allowed in parks, any public space or private property without consent of the landlord.

Anyone caught violating these fireworks laws could get a $100 fine and their fireworks removed.