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Fire officials warn against pyrotechnics

Posted: June 25, 2009 6:46 p.m.
Updated: June 26, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Don't be a fireworks dummy! Local fire officials and deputies demonstrated what can happen when dummies light illegal fireworks in this sequence from June 28, 2007.

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As July 4 approaches, local and state authorities are warning residents not to set off fireworks of their own.

“We all live in a major wildland interface area,” said Los Angeles County Fire Department spokeswoman Stephanie English. “Usually it’s hot during the Fourth of July, so that creates conditions that have potential for fire.”

She said residents should go to professional fireworks shows to celebrate Independence Day.

In the Santa Clarita Valley, two such shows are scheduled for July 4: Castaic Lake and Westfield Valencia Town Center.

“Our goal is to make sure no homes and no lives are lost and people aren’t playing with fireworks and sustaining serious injuries,” she said.

Though the Santa Clarita Valley is just a half-hour’s drive from Fillmore — one of the few spots in fire-prone Southern California where some fireworks are legal and on sale — fireworks are strictly banned here.

The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station will flood the streets with deputies for the next few weekends. They’ll be doing patrols from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. searching for fireworks violations, said sheriff’s Lt. Robert Lewis.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger also put out a message to Californians Thursday, joining state fire officials to warn about the dangers of illegal fireworks.

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