LOS ANGELES (CNS) — Many neighborhoods sounded like war zones Sunday evening as people set off illegal fireworks to mark Independence Day despite repeated pleas from fire officials around Southern California to attend public pyrotechnic displays.

Sheriff's department dispatchers have fielded "nonstop calls," said Deputy Tracy Koerner of the Sheriff's Information Bureau.

Deputies on patrol are citing people they see setting off illegal fireworks, especially if they have large quantities of the explosives, Koerner said

Sheriff's stations have not reported the numbers of fireworks calls to headquarters, he said. 

Huntington Beach in Orange County has been "fairly quiet this weekend," according to Huntington Beach police spokeswoman Jennifer Carey.

"We've seen far less illegal fireworks this year than in recent years," Carey said.

Officers would have to stake out noisy areas and catch people in the act of lighting fireworks to cite them, she noted. And they are too busy responding to other calls for service.