53 fires erupt in San Bernardino County on July 4

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (KABC) -- In San Bernardino County alone on July 4, firefighters were called to 53 separate blazes, many of which were believed to be fireworks-related.

Leading up to the holiday, fire departments across the Southland were urging residents to exercise extreme caution when lighting fireworks and asking that any illegal fireworks be reported immediately.

San Bernardino County Fire Marshal Mike Horton recorded a video message imploring the community to "say no" to illegal fireworks.

MORE: SoCal police crack down on illegal fireworks

"The San Bernardino County Fire Department wants you and your family to enjoy a safe and sane Fourth of July holiday, but these illegal and dangerous products... pose an imminent risk to you, your family members and our first responders," Horton said.

MORE: 3 kids hospitalized in San Bernardino fireworks accident

Horton warned that each violation could result in a $1,250 fine and a potential misdemeanor or felony charge.

Earlier in the day, 40 acres burned in the Jurupa Valley area, destroying some rural structures and forcing residents to evacuate their animals from barns. Another fire near Lake Mathews quickly spread, scorching a large swath of land just south of the water.

MORE: Brush fires burn near Jurupa Valley, Lake Mathews

Overnight, a two-acre brush fire in the Rowland Heights and La Habra area gave residents a scare as the flames crept toward homes. Firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze before any damage to nearby houses was done.
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