With the Fourth of July just two days away, fire and police were reminding residents that fireworks in many communities are illegal and to take precautions to avoid fires during an extremely dry wildfire season coupled with recent years of drought.
"We saw this past year record-breaking fires, the largest in the state's history. We know that fireworks can set off fires, and right now with this heat and the dryness around us, the one thing we don't need is another fire," Mayor Eric Garcetti, said at a Fourth of July Press Conference Monday.
Fire officials were giving county residents tips on how to stay safe during the holiday season.
- Do not purchase or set off fireworks in cities where fireworks are illegal
- In areas where fireworks are legal, only purchase the approved "safe and sane" fireworks, which are identified by a sticker
- Get community approval before setting off fireworks in neighborhoods
- Set off legal fireworks away from trees, brush and power lines
- Avoid lighting matches near trees or brush
- Leave it up to the professionals: professional firework shows are safer than setting off explosives alone
The Los Angeles Police Department is heavily involved with firework safety around the holidays, with firework suppression teams in most of the 45 cities in LA.
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Police remind residents that fines for fireworks start at $500, but can up to $50,000 and 6 months to one year in prison.
If the city is not on the list, fireworks set off in "personal use" are illegal.
"As Americans, we wish each other a happy Fourth of July, but it can only be happy if we get through the Fourth of July safely," Jim McDonnell, Sheriff of Los Angeles County Police Department, said.