Police crack down on illegal fireworks as city prepares for July 4th show
By Kayla Irby 06/26/2013
As area fire and police departments step up calls for fireworks safety during next week’s Independence Day holiday, officials in Pasadena are gearing up for the 87th Annual Americafest at the Rose Bowl, one of the oldest and most popular controlled Fourth of July fireworks displays in the region.
On Tuesday, Pasadena Fire Department officials began applying Phos-Chek — a fire retardant composed of phosphates and fertilizers that prevents trees and grasslands from burning and re-vegetates burned areas — around the stadium. The Rose Bowl is located in the lush Arroyo Seco, surrounded by some of the most expensive homes in the country.
In Los Angeles County, cities allowing fireworks that the state fire marshal determines as “safe and sane” are: Alhambra, Artesia, Azusa, Baldwin Park, Bell, Bellflower, Bell Gardens, Carson, Commerce, Compton, Cudahy, Downey, Duarte, El Monte, Gardena, Hawaiian Gardens, Hawthorne, Huntington Park, Industry, Inglewood, Irwindale, La Mirada, La Puente, Lakewood, Lawndale, Lynwood, Maywood, Montebello, Monterey Park, Norwalk, Palmdale, Paramount, Pico Rivera, Rosemead, San Gabriel, Santa Fe Springs, South El Monte, South Gate and Temple City.
Along with all unincorporated county communities, including Altadena, Pasadena is among the cities that do not allow the use of fireworks of any kind.
“Fireworks are an explosive device, including the sparklers adults hand the children during this time of year, that can cause significant burns if not handled properly,” Pasadena Fire Department spokesperson Lisa Derderian told the Weekly. Anyone caught with fireworks could have their vehicles impounded and face arrest and fines of up to $50,000. Illegally parked vehicles in Pasadena’s hillside areas on July 4th will be impounded in order to prevent accidents, fires and injuries. There will also be checkpoints set up around the Rose Bowl aimed at seizing illegal fireworks and arresting offenders.
“We are also experiencing extreme drought-like conditions,” Derderian noted, “so we can’t afford anything less than zero-tolerance this year when it comes to fireworks.”
Americafest begins at 2 p.m. at the Rose Bowl, 1001 Rose Bowl Drive, Pasadena. The event includes exhibits, food and games in Area H, followed by motorcycle stunts and special performances by Mariachi Divas and Kenny G at 7 p.m. Fireworks begin at 9 p.m. General admission tickets are $13 per person. Reserved seating tickets are $25 per person. Military personnel with active IDs can receive four complimentary thank-you tickets after 3 p.m. Advance tickets are on sale through Wednesday and can be purchased online at rosebowlstadium.com.
To report illegal fireworks, call Pasadena Police Department at (626) 744-4241.