Officials: Leave fireworks to the pros

Amid a days-long heat wave and tinder dry conditions, authorities 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 La Cañada Flintridge, Pasadena, Glendale, Burbank and all unincorporated areas of Los Angeles, and authorities this week asked residents to notify public safety officials if they see anything out of the ordinary.

So-called "safe and sane" fireworks are allowed in the 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 today, 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. Also, residents in the foothills can attend an annual Independence Day event held at La Crescenta Elementary School. Gates open at 4 p.m. and fireworks begin at 9 p.m.


Follow Tiffany Kelly on Google+ and on Twitter: @LATiffanyKelly.


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