Amid a days-long heat wave and tinder dry conditions, authorities across the tri-city region are warning residents to be extra vigilant this Fourth of July holiday.
Local authorities say no fireworks are safe and sparklers, which can reach temperatures of more than 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, can still be dangerous and result in severe burns or spark fires.
Fireworks are illegal in Burbank, Glendale, La Cañada Flintridge, Pasadena and all unincorporated areas of Los Angeles, and authorities this week asked residents to notify public safety officials if they see any out of the ordinary.
Glendale fire plans to hire on two additional units as “an extra set of eyes” to patrol fire prone areas of the city, said spokeswoman Brandy Villanueva.
“We just want people have a safe and nice happy holiday,” Villanueva said.
So-called “safe and sane” fireworks are allowed in the nearby cities of Alhambra, Azusa, Temple City, El Monte and Baldwin Park, but officials here say it’s best for the public to attend one of several planned shows in the region.
Violating the fireworks ban can result in a fine of $500 or one year in jail, said Los Angeles County Fire Department Inspector Scott Miller. Using explosive illegal fireworks can lead to a felony charge, he added.
“Our safety message is to go out and see a fireworks show by a professional,” he said.
Sgt. Robert Galbraith of the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station said he hasn’t seen many incidents in the area involving fireworks over the last couple of years on July 4.
“I believe most people here go to fireworks shows,” he said.
Still, the station also plans to increase staffing levels during the holiday, as does the Pasadena Fire Department, said spokeswoman Lisa Derderian.
“We cannot afford anything less than a zero-tolerance policy,” she said.
Banners have been posted on buses and other public areas reminding residents of the ban ahead of Americafest, the popular annual July 4 fireworks show at the Rose Bowl, which attracts thousands each year.
Activities for Americafest will begin 2 p.m., with a performance by Mariachi Divas & Kenny G at 7 p.m. and the pyro-technic display kicking off at 9 p.m. The closest show for residents in the foothills is the annual event at La Crescenta Elementary School. Gates open at 4 p.m. and fireworks begin at 9 p.m.
Burbank will also be hosting its annual fireworks show at the Starlight Bowl.
-- Tiffany Kelly and Veronica Rocha, firstname.lastname@example.org