As thundering firework displays continue to shoot through New York City's skies, they're trailed by a boom in complaints about the illegal use of pyrotechnics. From Washington Heights to Ditmas Park, weary residents say they've been pushed to the brink by screeching explosions that begin before sundown and last well into the morning.

According to city data, 849 complaints about fireworks were logged with the city's 311 hotline in the last two weeks alone. That's a nearly 4,000 percent increase from the same period in 2019, which saw just 21 recorded complaints. In the first two weeks of June during the previous five years, there were less than 50 complaints related to fireworks in total.

As with other 311 data, it's not clear that the figures reflect an actual spike in activity. In many cases, the growth of nuisance calls is a better barometer of gentrification than any specific change in behavior. But while illicit fireworks have long served as the sonic backdrop to summer nights in NYC, some residents say the intensity and frequency has been noticeably greater in 2020, with many of the late-night displays appearing strangely professional.

"There’s something louder, longer, and crazier about it that’s weird," said Phoebe Streblow, a Flatbush resident. "Just the sheer cost alone of these productions is suspect. They're about the size of fireworks at a minor league ballpark."

Explanations for the uptick have run the gamut. Some New Yorkers have theorized the fireworks are connected to the protests against police brutality that have gripped the city in recent weeks. Others say that months of stay-at-home orders due to COVID-19 have primed individuals for hours-long marathons of eruptions. There have been similar jumps in firework complaints this month elsewhere in the country, including Boston and Syracuse.

"My friends were joking that everyone was so bottled at home, they're just going all out," said Carline Gaillard, the director of constituent services for Councilmember Farah Louis, who represents Flatbush. The neighborhood has seen 171 complaints related to illegal fireworks in the last two weeks, the highest number of any zip code in the city.

"We must find ways to curtail access to these incendiary items which are illegal to sell, purchase, and transport in New York City," Louis said in a statement to Gothamist, acknowledging that she'd received "an influx of complaints" in recent weeks.

The subject has sent some local online communities into chaos, prompting heated debates about how best to address the issue. This weekend, the administrator of a Ditmas Park Facebook group announced he was banning all firework-related posting. "Some members seem to get a thrill/catharsis out of the ensuing arguments that take place every night, but I will not allow our community to tear itself apart like that," he wrote on Sunday.

In response, another resident, Irina Manta, formed her own Facebook group, along with a petition calling on Mayor Bill de Blasio and other officials to "put a peaceful stop to the illegally launched fireworks that have been disrupting our sleep and lives for weeks."

Hours later, police in riot gear showed up on the streets of Flatbush, apparently searching for those responsible for the fireworks. (A spokesperson for the NYPD did not respond to Gothamist's inquiries about arrests or summonses).

At a time when many New Yorkers are reevaluating the role of policing, the demand for enforcement from Manta, a Hoffstra law professor, struck some as ill-advised and possibly dangerous.

"The white gentrifying forces in our communities are cheering on one hand, saying 'Black Lives Matter,' while they call the police on the community," said Imani Henry, the lead organizer with Equality for Flatbush. "It’s about folks feeling they have the right to come into a neighborhood and decide we don’t like this, we don’t like that."

A spokesperson for de Blasio would not say whether the administration was concerned about a possible uptick in firework use, saying only that the Mayor's Office was "looking into this particular phenomenon."

According to Brint Benson, a Jamaica, Queens resident and Harlem native, this year's "Fireworks Olympics" may be a bit more zealous than usual, but should not be seen as a major deviation from the past.

"People have been going harder, going to New Jersey to get fireworks, maybe," he said. "But people have been doing this every summer for my entire life. It’s a signifier of summertime in New York, period."