With the Fourth of July a little more than a week 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.
"It's not just a city problem, it's a county-wide problem. If [fireworks] go off, they can hit a power line, or hit a bush and catch on fire," said Vanessa Lozano, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
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
Fire officials are also planning a news conference on Friday, July 1, to educate the community about safe fire practices before the Fourth.
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.
Police remind residents that they face fines or even arrest for illegal fireworks, depending on the type of firework.
If the city is not on the list, fireworks set off in "personal use" are illegal.