L.A. officials warn of fireworks safety

ALHAMBRA, Calif. A safety warning about fireworks goes out every year. However, this year there is a bit more urgency to the matter, as there has been a long drought throughout California.

"We certainly don't want any fires started in areas where you know we know we have a fire season year-round," said Lee Baca, /*Los Angeles County Sheriff*/.

At a news conference on Monday, officials urged residents to go to professional fireworks displays, not only because of the fire danger, but because of the risk of injury.

"Routinely, every year, at the /*Grossman Burn Centers*/ we see dozens burns ... patients with burns related to fireworks injuries," said Dr. Alexander Medina, Grossman Burn Center.

During the news conference, officials demonstrated the explosive danger of illegal fireworks.

"In the city of Los Angeles, using fireworks of any kind is illegal," said Chief Douglas Barry, /*Los Angeles City Fire Department*/. "And if you buy them in legal areas and bring them into the city, it is also a crime."

Cesar Martinez Cruz runs a fireworks stand for the /*Knights of Columbus*/ in Alhambra. In the city of Los Angeles, the sale of fireworks is against the law, but certain fireworks are legal in Cruz's area.

"A lot of the local cities are cutting down on their big productions," said Cruz. "A lot of people are buying them so the they can have ... get together with their families in the back yard and stuff."

Once again, officials say the best thing is to attend a professional fireworks show.

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