SoCal fire officials: Leave the fireworks to the professionals on July 4th

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Fire officials are urging Southland residents to leave the fireworks to the professionals this Fourth of July to avoid needless fire hazards and injuries. (KABC)

Fire officials are urging Southland residents to leave the fireworks to the professionals this Fourth of July to avoid needless fire hazards and injuries.

The fireworks show at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena is considered to be one of the largest and most spectacular fireworks shows in the Southland for Independence Day.

This year is no different than previous years. Firefighters are taking precautions to keep all the heavy brush at bay near and around the Rose Bowl.

Firefighters say Fourth of July is one of the busiest times of the year for them.

"Phos-Chek is a wild land fire retardant. So this is the same thing that you see planes spraying over or dropping over large wild land fires," said Chief Bertral Washington with the Pasadena Fire Department.

While Phos-Chek dropped from airplanes is orange, the substance used in this case is green and blends in with the environment.

The flame retardant has been sprayed on the brush and through the arroyos throughout Thursday.

"Although we hoped to have a little relief from the rainy season, we did not have that. So it was very dry, and there's a lot of fuels that are out there," Washington said.

Firefighters and police say people should leave the fireworks to the experts, since the number of emergency calls go up this time of year.

"The patients that we see the most are children especially between the ages of 5 to 14 years old," Washington said. "It's really heartbreaking for us as first responders to see the children that succumb to these types of injuries."

For many cities in the Southland, including Pasadena, fireworks are prohibited and could mean some steep penalties.

"It can result from a misdemeanor citation to incarceration for a felony, again depending on the quantity and the classification of the fireworks" said Chief Phillip Sanchez with Pasadena police.

Firefighters say sparklers may appear harmless, but they can reach up to 2,000 degrees. Authorities say children without supervision have no business using them.
Related Topics:
newsfireworksfire safetysafetywildfirebrush firefirefirefighters4th of julyholidaySouthern CaliforniaPasadenaLos Angeles County
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