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City officials stress importance of leaving fireworks to professionals ahead of Fourth of July

City officials stress importance of fireworks safety ahead of Fourth of July
City officials stress importance of fireworks safety ahead of Fourth of July 02:24

Leaders from local fire authorities gathered at a conference in East L.A. on Friday to address the dangers to both personal safety and the environment that come with fireworks, urging the public to leave it to the pros. 

With just days left until the Fourth of July, law enforcement agencies throughout the Southland have begun to crackdown on illegal fireworks. Just recently in Azusa, police seized over 1,600 pounds of illegal fireworks and tools used to make the pyrotechnic devices. 

They're warning that this year, more than ever, it isn't worth putting the risk up to the test. 

"This year and into the future, let's focus on reducing risk, dangerous fires and preventing injuries due to the use of illegal fireworks," said Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Kristin Crowley. "

In 2021, LAFD and Los Angeles County Fire Department reported responding to more than 120 different fires that came as a result of fireworks in the days surrounding Fourth of July. 

"I, from a professional perspective, do not agree with any form of fireworks," said LACoFD Chief Daryl Osby. "We emphasize that we want you to visit a professional fireworks show."

However, for some communities that won't be as easy as in year's past. 

Multiple cities like La Puente were forced to shutdown their scheduled fireworks show after an investigation by California Fire Marshalls found that the contracted fireworks company, Exposhows, was unlicensed and in possession of dangerous pyrotechnic material like homemade explosives and fireworks that came with counterfeit State Marshall seals. 

"We are working closely with the District Attorney's office on this case, but we believe this group violated at least 15 various fireworks and explosives laws and regulations," said State Fire Marshall Chief Brian Richwine. 

In response, those cities have been forced to adapt, opting for light shows or drone shows instead. 

In an effort to aid in curbing the use of illegal fireworks, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has indicated they will have increased patrols present while Los Angeles Police Department offers an online and anonymous tool to report instances of fireworks being used by someone other than a professional. 

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