As Fourth of July approaches, La Cañada Flintridge and many other cities in Los Angeles County are reminding residents that “safe and sane” fireworks are illegal.
The cities of Burbank, Glendale, Pasadena and all unincorporated areas of Los Angeles, including La Crescenta, also ban non-explosive devices. Local authorities have warned that no fireworks are safe and sparklers, which can reach temperatures of over 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, can still be dangerous and result in burns or fires. Fireworks that are “safe and sane” are allowed in neighboring cities like Alhambra, Azusa, Temple City, El Monte and Baldwin Park. Fireworks can be legally sold starting Friday, June 28 at noon through Saturday, July 6 at noon.
Violating the ban or using fireworks in areas where it is not permitted 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 firework show by a professional,” said Miller.
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 firework shows.”
Still, the station will increase staffing levels during the holiday, sending out deputies to patrol the area for potential incidents, he said. The Pasadena Fire Department will also increase their staffing levels, said department spokeswoman Lisa Derderian.
Americafest, the popular annual event at the Rose Bowl, attracts thousands to the area each year. Pasadena officials plan to be vigilant in tracking down illegal sales and uses of fireworks in the city, especially with the recent hot, dry weather, said Derderian.
“We are experiencing drought-like conditions,” she said. “It’s lingering, it’s not just for one day. We cannot afford anything less than a zero-tolerance policy.”
Banners have been posted at the Pasadena Fire Department, on buses and other public areas warning residents of the ban. In the past, said Derderian, the city has seen illegal firework vendors disguised as other businesses. That is worrying for the department, said Derderian, as thousands of people line the outside of the Rose Bowl every year to get a glimpse of the July 4 show. If illegal fireworks are lit outside the event, it could endanger many people and make it hard for emergency respondents to get to the scene, she said.
“We do sometimes see….fireworks outside the Rose Bowl area larger than inside the Rose Bowl area,” she said.
Activities for Americafest will begin 2 p.m., with a performance by Mariachi Divas & Kenny G at 7 p.m. and the pyro display going 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 beginning at 9 p.m.
-- Tiffany Kelly, firstname.lastname@example.org