Jay Zagorsky

The number of fireworks being lit off at night is out of control this year.

While people often light off fireworks close to the Fourth of July, this year fireworks have been lit in large numbers starting weeks earlier. New York City had a 4,000% increase in fireworks complaints in the first two weeks of June compared with last year. This prompted Mayor Bill de Blasio to vow a crackdown on illegal fireworks.

Complaints about fireworks are not confined to just New York City, but in cities across the country like San Francisco, Denver, Harrisburg, Albuquerque, Providence and many other places. This has led to a rise in conspiracy theories, including one that the nightly noise is an elaborate government plot to create confusion in neighborhoods.

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