Fireworks on the Fourth

A family buys fireworks at a TNT Fireworks stand in the city of Monterey Park. The Los Angeles Fire Department is urging people not to set off their own displays. (Nick Ut / Associated Press / July 2, 2013)

As much as fireworks are synonymous with Independence Day, fire officials are again urging people not to set them off.

"Tomorrow is a day of celebration throughout our country," Los Angeles Fire Department Capt. Jamie Moore said Wednesday at a news conference. "It's a day that families get together, they celebrate with picnics and barbecues, and many go out and participate with fireworks and fireworks displays."

"We ask that you go to a professional fireworks display. Remember, fireworks are illegal in Los Angeles and the majority of Los Angeles County," Moore continued.

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The city Fire Department usually receives about 1,400 calls a day, 85% of which are for medical attention. On July 4th, the calls skyrocket to about 2,000, making it among the busiest days of the year for firefighters.

The news conference highlighted the LAFD's "arsenal" of firefighting tools -- bulldozers, helicopters, hand crews, arson teams, a black Labrador named Major, among others -- that officials said they are ready to deploy on Thursday (or any other day) if necessary.

"It feels like the next couple of days, we're going to battle," Moore said.

Senior Arson Investigator David Liske said teams would be out July 4th "looking specifically to tie fireworks activity to the starting of any fires."

"And if we can definitively tie someone's use of illegal fireworks within the city to the causation of a fire, they will be arrested and we will seek to file felony charges against them," Liske said.

Liske also announced the arrest last week of Gustavo Ayala, 42, who is suspected in a string of arson-related fires in the Highland Park area and was charged with three felony counts for fires started in June.

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ari.bloomekatz@latimes.com