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July 4th: On alert for illegal fireworks, brush fires

July 4, 2011 | 10:40 am


For the Fourth of July, crews are on high alert in the Angeles National Forest amid concern that illegal fireworks could spark brush fires.

Although higher elevations have retained some moisture — likely due to the recent marine layer — tall, ground-level grass is much drier and will light up more quickly, U.S. Forest Service spokesman Nathan Judy told the Glendale News-Press.

Crews also will be walking along forest streams and into campgrounds to talk with visitors to make sure rules are being followed, Judy said. Local police will patrol by helicopter, looking for illegal fireworks and brush fires.

Angeles forest visitors should avoid parking their vehicles in dry grass, which can catch fire from engine heat. They also are restricted to designated campground fire pits and charcoal grills. Smokers should only light up inside their vehicles or in a space that has 30 feet of clearance, Judy said.


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Photo: Illegal fireworks found by L.A. Sheriff's deputies last year in La Puente. Credit: Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department