May 31, 2007

LB Press Telegram / L.A. Daily News Editorial (5/31/07)

Finally a bit of common sense begins to creep into CA...LAAG asked for this a few weeks ago when Georgia banned fireworks due to statewide fire dangers. Well the Fireworks lobbyists are busy making sure those Chinese workers making fireworks get their bonuses this year. And dont count on local politicians to get this done. It will have to be at the state level.

Fireworks danger
Article Launched: 05/30/2007 08:53:09 PM PDT

From the L.A. Daily News

Even in the lushest of Southern California summers, fireworks shows - both sanctioned and neighborhood free-for-alls - are a dangerous pastime.

But they have been allowed because celebrating our country's birth was deemed worth the fire risk. Besides, fire fighters from every SoCal community know that the week leading up to July 4 is a time to be extra vigilant.

But this year, conditions are more ignitable than usual. It's shaping up to be the driest summer on record for Los Angeles - a city filled with and surrounded by rain-deprived vegetation just waiting for a spark. Last month's Griffith Park wildfire shows how one stray spark can lead to large-scale scorching.

Because of this fire authorities need to reconsider their fireworks policies this year. Already the city of Burbank has cancelled its famous Fourth of July fireworks extravaganza at the Starlight Bowl for fear that the Verdugo Mountains could be set ablaze.

Fireworks shows are planned for every corner of Los Angeles. Fire officials ought to assess the danger of two planned fireworks displays in particular - at Hansen Dam and Dodger Stadium, which is surrounded by the large and wild Elysian Park. Popular as these shows are, safety must come first.

As well, authorities must crack down on illegal fireworks displays. During normal years, it might be acceptable to look away. But with conditions as fire-ripe as they are this year, every sparkler and bottle rocket must be considered a dangerous incendiary device.

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