Crews prepare for fireworks at Rose Bowl

The fire hoses were out at the Arroyo Seco on Wednesday, not to put out a blaze but to prevent fires as people prepare for the Fourth of July holiday.

On Wednesday the Rose Bowl will host Americafest 2012, touted as the largest fireworks show in Southern California. In preparation, Pasadena fire crews were spraying a fire retardant on brushy areas along the arroyo's edge, and Pasadena Fire Chief Calvin Wells was warning residents to be careful with use of their own fireworks.

Temperatures are expected to reach the 80s and low 90s through the holiday.

On Wednesday firefighters applied 14,000 gallons of Phos-Check, a fire retardant made mostly of phosphates and fertilizers that hinders fires and encourages revegetation of areas scorched by fire.

Firefighters warn that consumer fireworks, even sparklers, burn hot and are capable of setting off a fire or causing injury. Many types of explosive fireworks — essentially anything that rises in the air, creates a loud boom or skips along the ground — are banned in California.

Many cities in Southern California, including La Cañada Flintridge, Pasadena, San Marino and South Pasadena, ban the sale of fireworks. Other cities allow only the sale of “safe-and-sane” fireworks, as determined by the state fire marshal.

Americafest is the 86th annual Fourth of July celebration at the Rose Bowl. The grounds open to the public at 2 p.m., and events include live motorcycle stunts, rides for children, food vendors, drum-and-bugle ensembles, other entertainment and a tribute to fallen members of the military. The fireworks show begins at 9:05 p.m.

Parking is $20 per vehicle, and tickets are $13 per person. Children 7 and under are admitted free.

La Crescenta hosts its annual Fourth of July event starting at 4 p.m. Wednesday at La Crescenta Elementary School, 4343 La Crescenta Ave. The event features live music, food vendors, rides and a fireworks show shortly after 9 p.m. Tickets are $10 at the gate or $7 in advance and are being sold by a variety of La Crescenta merchants, including the Crescenta Valley Chamber of Commerce at 3131 Foothill Blvd.

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