The City of Santa Maria has a new tool in the fight against illegal fireworks.
A high-altitude aircraft will capture video of the flight of illegal fireworks, pinpointing the parcel number and property owner where the ignition occurred, likely leading to administrative fines.
Santa Maria announced the aggressive new effort as the city, along with Lompoc and Guadalupe, began sales of safe and sane fireworks in their communities at noon Tuesday from 25 stands in Santa Maria, five booths in Lompoc and one in Guadalupe. While safe and sane fireworks can be purchased in those cities, they can only be used in all three cities on July 4.
All fireworks, including safe and sane fireworks, remain prohibited in Santa Barbara, Goleta, Solvang, Buellton and Carpinteria along with the unincorporated areas of Santa Barbara County.