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New Year's Eve fireworks lead to worst air quality in Phoenix since 2010

By Bridget Dowd
Published: Tuesday, January 2, 2024 - 4:13pm
Updated: Tuesday, January 2, 2024 - 5:03pm

Chad Snow/KJZZ
Litter from fireworks being set off at Michelle Brooks-Totress Park in Tempe on Jan. 1, 2024.

New Year’s Eve 2023 was the worst for air quality in Phoenix since records began in 2010.

Matt Pace with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality said the smoke from people setting off fireworks led to poor conditions the next day as well.

“Air quality on New Year’s Day in Phoenix was actually our third worst that we have seen and the majority of that was because all of the fireworks released right at midnight and as people celebrated really got trapped underneath that inversion [layer] and resulted in very unhealthy air quality around the region," Pace said.

Many Valley residents posted on social media about what seemed like an increase in fireworks this year.

Tom Davis lives in north Phoenix. He said there were a lot more fireworks in his area this year.

"Our poor dogs were freaking out," he said. "They started about 7 p.m. and went until around 1:30 a.m. The good news is the gunfire wasn’t as bad as last year."

Glendale police also reported being flooded with calls of illegal firework use and four people were cited for it. A Buckeye man was also arrested for firing celebratory shots from his second story window.