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LA Officials Are Targeting Online Sales Of Illegal Fireworks

Fireworks on display at a TNT Fireworks stand in Inglewood, California on July 3, 2017.
(Darryl Barker
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Los Angeles officials are cracking down on illegal fireworks in advance of the Fourth of July by reaching out to social media platforms and other websites.

“We've interacted with Facebook and Craigslist and others ... in very constructive exchanges designed to get firework sales to be eliminated from their sites,” said Mike Feuer, the city attorney of Los Angeles. “I think that this effort is a potential model for other jurisdictions as well.”

For sites that haven’t been as open to collaboration, part of the city’s strategy also involves sending cease-and-desist letters to the platforms.

L.A. is not the only city cracking down on illegal fireworks. Some cities permit so-called "safe and sane" fireworks, but in much of the state, communities have banned the larger and more dangerous ones.

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As California’s ongoing drought continues, fines may get steeper. Officials are particularly concerned about the fire danger posed by even one spark.

“We have brush that is just waiting to be ignited, and fireworks pose a very serious risk of creating a fire that could have devastating consequences,” Feuer said.

As of June 24, authorities will hold property owners responsible for any illegal fireworks activity on their property.