Safety officials keep busy during holiday weekend

Newport Beach firefighters responded to 492 medical and first aid calls, reunited 164 lost people and performed 90 rescues throughout the Fourth of July holiday weekend, firefighters said.

Many of the calls for assistance were on the Balboa Peninsula, with 40 calls there on the Fourth of July alone, said spokeswoman Jennifer Schulz.

Firefighters also responded to three house fires that day.

Two of them, on Balboa Boulevard and Irvine Avenue, were caused by food left too long on stoves, Schulz said in a news release.

The third was a Dumpster fire on Back Bay Drive.

No one was injured in the fires, and there was no significant damage reported, according to Schulz.

About 425,000 people visited Newport's beaches between Friday and Monday, fire officials estimated, with Monday being the busiest day in response calls across the board.

The number of lost people reunited Monday — 87 — was more than double that of the weekend's second busiest day, with 41 reunions Sunday.

There were also 90 rescues from the water over the weekend, and 1,396 warnings to beachgoers and boaters, Schulz said.

Newport Beach police reported 117 arrests between 6 p.m. Sunday and 6 a.m. Tuesday. Newport Beach police reported 18 of those — or about 15.4% — were Newport residents.

Of the total arrests, 71 were for disorderly conduct or public drunkenness.

The number of arrests on the Fourth of July was about the same in 2011 as in previous years. In 2009, 119 people were arrested, according to Daily Pilot archives.

In 2010, 107 people were arrested on the Fourth, according to the city's website.

Each year, Newport spends about $200,000 on the Fourth of July. About 100 officers from other agencies were brought in to help police on the holiday weekend, said Newport police spokeswoman Kathy Lowe.

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