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Yup, Those Explosions You're Hearing All Over LA Are (Mostly) Illegal Fireworks

Fireworks light up the Los Angeles skyline on the 4th of July.
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Have you heard those booms multiple times, at all hours of the night in your neighborhood? Do you wake up in a hot sweat thinking a bomb has been dropped? Is your dog stressed as hell?

Yes, this happens every summer, but maybe there's something about the global pandemic that's inspiring people to go extra hard this year. Whatever the reason, the use of fireworks is officially up across Southern California.

A Riverside County Sheriff's sting operation seized a sizable stock of illegal fireworks on Thursday. County Fire Captain Fernando Herrera says there are big penalites for misusing fireworks, even legal ones. "Fines can range up to $50,000 and you could also serve time in jail," he told KPCC/LAist.

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Herrera also warned that it's fire season out there (and we can't really handle another crisis right now).

"Fireworks can and will cause wildland fires that can destroy property, and obviously cause injuries, not only to your family but your neighbors."

All fireworks and pyrotechnics are banned in Riverside County, except for the approved areas of Blythe, Cathedral City, Coachella, Desert Hot Springs, and Indio.

In both unincorporated L.A. County and the city of L.A., all fireworks are illegal, including those deemed "safe and sane." Within L.A. County, though, 39 cities allow "safe and sane" fireworks to be bought and sold — although many of those cities have restrictions on them — including Monterey Park, La Puente, and Rosemead.


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