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LA, San Bernardino County officials close preserves fearing wildfires sparked by fireworks

Growing concerns of wildfires sparked by fireworks forces officials to close areas
Growing concerns of wildfires sparked by fireworks forces officials to close areas 02:33

Officials have cautioned against using fireworks this holiday weekend as the drought emergency worsens daily, making dry, golden brush ripe fuel for wildfires.

"I'm worried about people driving up the hill and trying to shoot off fireworks," said Fontana resident Ryan Kauffman. 

Concerned about the increased fire danger going into the Fourth of July weekend, San Bernardino County firefighters closed the North Etiwanda Preserve in Rancho Cucamonga to protect it from anyone insistent on using fireworks.

"I wouldn't want to see it damaged or my home damaged even more so," said Kauffman. 

Officials closed the preserve from Friday night through Tuesday morning, with the fire chief saying the department needs to protect the local treasure. While understanding the concern, the move has upset some residents wanting to enjoy the mountainside. 

"I also don't agree with the city closing down for the Fourth. People like to come up with their families and stuff," said San Bernardino resident Kwasi Hill. "We all have brains and we all know what to do if we're out there doing it."

The Angeles National Forest have placed similar restrictions, sharing the same fears as San Bernardino County officials.

"We're currently at high fire danger in the Angeles National Forest," said spokesperson Dana Dierkes. "San Bernardino National Forest is at very high fire danger."

Dierkes said that various areas of the Angeles National Forest because of the current fire danger as well as existing damage from old burns within the Bobcast fire zone. She added that campfire restrictions will vary by location. 

"No fireworks and no pyrotechnic devices of any kind are allowed on forest land," she said.

In San Bernardino, campfires are only allowed in designated locations this holiday weekend. 

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