PALMDALE – The City of Palmdale, Los Angeles County Fire Department and Palmdale Sheriff’s Station are joining in an effort to combat the use of illegal fireworks in Palmdale this Fourth of July, officials announced at a press conference Wednesday.
“Palmdale Sheriff’s Station will be deploying 32 additional deputies… to do nothing but fireworks enforcement,” said Palmdale Sheriff’s Station Captain Don Ford, adding that no warnings will be given. “Your warning is right now. Do not shoot off illegal fireworks,” Ford continued.
Citations run from $2,500 for the first offense to $10,000 for the third offense; and violators could even face criminal penalties, Ford stressed.
“Anything above an M-80 [firecracker] is considered a felony, and we will prosecute everything as such,” he said. “We have no tolerance for that.”
The Los Angeles County Fire Department will also deploy extra resources on the Fourth of July, said Battalion Chief Wes Anzai.
“We do have a task force along with the Sheriff’s and CHP, which will go around and police the area,” Anzai said.
Over the years, there has been an increase in the use of illegal fireworks throughout the entire Antelope Valley, said Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford.
“When you look at the sky, it’s hard to distinguish [between legal and illegal fireworks],” Ledford said. “But it’s not hard to differentiate between the communities that actually enforce and fine, Palmdale does. I think we’re the only city in the Antelope Valley that actually will write a citation,” Ledford continued.
Since the penalties went into effect in 2007, more than 280 individuals have been cited for illegal fireworks, Ledford said.
At Wednesday’s press conference, Palmdale city officials outlined the guidelines for using the “Safe and Sane” fireworks, which go on sale throughout the city this Saturday, June 28. (View the locations here.)
All “Safe and Sane” fireworks bear the official seal of the State Fire Marshal and may only be discharged within Palmdale city limits, from noon on Saturday, June 28 through noon on Saturday, July 5. Discharging fireworks before June 28 or after July 5 will subject the violators to fines, according to Palmdale Community Safety Supervisor Kelly Long.
NO fireworks —not even “Safe & Sane” —may be used in Fire Zone 4, which includes the Anaverde housing development, neighborhoods located on the south side of Rancho Vista Boulevard until it reaches Avenue N-8 and 60th Street West, and all areas south of the Aqueduct. View the “No Fireworks Zone” maps here and here.
“’Safe and Sane’ fireworks are illegal in Lancaster, Quartz Hill, Littlerock, Sun Village, Pearblossom, Acton, Lake Hughes, Agua Dulce, Antelope Acres, Leona Valley, Lake Elizabeth, and essentially all unincorporated areas of the [Los Angeles] County,” Long said.
To see if you live in a ‘no fireworks zone’ area where “Safe and Sane” fireworks are not allowed, access an interactive map on Palmdale’s website here.
Fireworks safety tips from the City of Palmdale
- Always read directions and use common sense.
- Have an adult present.
- Use outdoors only—away from buildings, vehicles, dry grass and other flammable objects.
- Light one at a time, then move quickly away.
- Keep others at a safe distance.
- Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
- Never alter or take apart fireworks.
- Do not give fireworks to young children under any circumstances.
- Have a bucket of water handy for emergencies and for dousing misfired and spent fireworks.
- Never attempt to relight or fix malfunctioning fireworks.
Fourth of July pet safety precautions
- Resist the urge to take your pet to fireworks displays.
- Keep your pets indoors at home in a sheltered, quiet area. Leave a television or radio playing at normal volume to keep your pet company.
- Consult with your veterinarian before July 4th for ways to help alleviate the fear and anxiety he or she may experience during fireworks displays.
Never leave pets outside unattended. In their fear, pets who normally wouldn’t leave the yard may escape and become lost, or become entangled in their chain, risking injury or death.
- Make sure your pets are wearing identification tags so that if they do become lost, they can be returned promptly.
For more information, call 661-267-5181. To report illegal fireworks anonymously, call the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station at 272-2400.
Previous related story: Fireworks go on sale in Palmdale June 28