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Cleanup efforts underway following Fourth of July festivities in Montana Vista

Cleanup efforts underway following Fourth of July festivities in Montana Vista

It's back to reality after the Fourth of July holiday.

And for many, that means dealing with the mess left over from people celebrating with fireworks.

This is the second year fireworks were allowed in the county following the five-year ban, and people in the neighborhood say it was even busier than last year.

It was all hands on deck as crews worked to clear the debris left behind by the Fourth of July crowd.

Despite cleanup efforts, an afternoon dust storm disrupted progress as piles of trash blew across the streets and throughout the desert.

"Last year, it wasn't that bad in my neighborhood 'cause I don't remember if they had the street closed. But this year it was just more chaotic," said Montana Vista resident Miguel Salais.

Salais said traffic in the area was a mess.

"The street behind me and in front of me were closed so I had a lot of cars passing by my neighborhood and we had to watch out just in case the fireworks were hitting the cars."

According to Montana Vista Fire Rescue, first responders went to a total of 27 calls in the area on Tuesday night.

Fourteen of those calls were for brush fires. The biggest one burned in the Red Sands area.

"Yesterday was chaotic. I mean, we had thousands of people out here. We've been out here five years and I haven't seen it that busy in recent memory," said Jamil Moutran, who is part of the Rider Safety Office at Red Sands.

He and his team were also tasked with responding to emergency calls and keeping the littering under control.

Nevertheless, the sand was covered in debris the next day.

Although people from the Probation Department helped clean much of Montana Avenue, those on private property were responsible for the cleanup there.

Fireworks vendors were back on Wednesday to clear out any remaining trash on their lots.

The people at Red Sands are also tasked with singlehandedly cleaning up the mess left by thousands of people who visited.

"We're going to have to rely on our offroading community to come together as a single organization and clean the area up," Moutran said.

Despite the mess and the mishaps, those who celebrated out in the county said they still felt safe.

"There were more cops, more state troopers, too. That was the good thing. They had it under control," Salais said.

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