Officials turn out in full force to combat illegal fireworks

FILE PHOTO: 11-year-old Savannah Rousselo of Canyon Country sports her red, white and blue patriotic hat as she watches the city of Santa Clarita's fireworks show on the walkway outside Westfield's Valencia TownCenter Mall Tuesday, July 4, 2014.
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Deputies with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station are patrolling the streets of the valley to crack down on the use of illegal fireworks during the Fourth of July holiday.

“We are taking enforcement very seriously and will be monitoring hot spots known to have a history of illegal fireworks use,” said Capt. Robert Lewis of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station in a statement.

The department also assigned deputies to patrol the streets to specifically look for illegal fireworks displays and cite individuals using the pyrotechnics.

“We’re at completely full deployment meaning that everyone can work is on duty,” said Lt. Chuck Becerra with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.  “For the next 24 hours we’re on full duty.”

Officials said violators could receive fines of up to $1,000 and/or face misdemeanor prosecution.

On June 28, the Los Angeles County Fire Department announced that it staffed more than 50 additional units, dispatchers, patrols and public information officers during the holiday, equating to more than 500 additional personnel on call in the county.

“We have additional staffing and that was done last week,” said Inspector Gustavo Medina with the Los Angeles County Fire Department Tuesday.  “We do have additional patrols, engines and water tenders.  Every resource is out there today.”

The day before, on June 27, the Santa Clarita City Council passed an emergency ordinance to warn against the use of fireworks at its regular council meeting.

Instead of launching their own fireworks into the sky, residents are encouraged to watch fireworks conducted by trained professionals at the Valencia Town Center Mall, Six Flags Magic Mountain and Dr. Richard Rioux Memorial Park.

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