27 Dec

Sparks can lead to jail on July 4th

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2Four strike teams from the Los Angeles County Fire Department – with five engine companies in each team – had to be brought into the Antelope Valley to deal with all the fires. “Year after year, we get too many calls of people injured from fireworks,” said Lt. Gordon Carn of the Lancaster sheriff’s station. “This year we will have deputies in neighborhoods looking for people using fireworks.” In the Antelope Valley, fireworks of any kind are illegal within Lancaster city limits; unincorporated communities including Quartz Hill and Lake Los Angeles; and Palmdale’s Anaverde master-plan community, regarded as a highly hazardous area for fires because of the brush and hilly terrain. In other areas of Palmdale, fireworks popularly called “safe and sane” – because they don’t explode or fly – are permitted. These may be used only on private property and not in parks, parking lots or other public places. “Be the responsible person on your block,” said Lancaster Vice Mayor Ed Sileo. “If you see something that is unsafe, make a phone call.” PALMDALE – State, county, Palmdale and Lancaster officials said Monday they are cracking down on illegal fireworks and asked for the public’s help to make the Fourth of July holiday a safe one. Sheriff’s deputies – some in unmarked cars – will be out specifically looking for illegal fireworks. On the Fourth of July, Palmdale and Lancaster will each have 25 or more deputies beyond usual patrol staffing. “It’s getting out of control. It’s getting to the point of almost lawlessness,” said Los Angeles County Assistant Fire Chief Mark Bennett. “People have a right to celebrate, but you don’t have a right to do it illegally.” Use of illegal fireworks was an especially serious problem in the Antelope Valley last year, Bennett said, touching off 30 or more fires in Lancaster and Palmdale, not counting dozens of small spot fires that firefighters encountered while answering other calls, he said. Possession of any amount of illegal fireworks over the size of an M-80 explosive can be prosecuted as a felony, punishable by a state prison term, officials said. Altering “safe and sane” fireworks can also be prosecuted as a felony, sheriff’s officials said. Capt. Nick Norton of the Lancaster California Highway Patrol station said extra patrols will be out for the holiday looking for individuals transporting illegal fireworks. To report fireworks being used, Palmdale residents can call the Palmdale sheriff’s station at (661) 272-2400. To help guide the Fourth of July patrols, residents can use the city’s Web site, www.cityofpalmdale.org, before the holiday to report areas where illegal fireworks are commonly a problem. In Lancaster, people can report fireworks to the Lancaster sheriff’s station at (661) 723-4832 or 723-2031. Palmdale will be airing two fireworks-related shows on its channel 27 on the Adelphia cable network starting July 1. Both cities included information on fireworks dangers in their newsletters. Both cities will offer free Fourth of July fireworks shows. Palmdale’s show will be at Palmdale High School’s Riewer Field, on 20th Street East south of Palmdale Boulevard. Gates will open at 6:30 p.m. Entertainment will begin at 7:30 p.m., and the fireworks display will start about 9 p.m. Lancaster’s Fourth of July fireworks will be at the Antelope Valley Fairgrounds, 2551 W. Ave. H. Gates will open at 6:30 p.m., musical entertainment will run from 7:30 p.m. to 8:45 p.m., and fireworks will begin at 9 p.m. [email protected] (661) 267-5743160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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