The City of Los Angeles held Saturday a fireworks-buyback program in Mission Hills, hoping to cut down on the use of illegal pyrotechnics on the Fourth of July.
Officials were providing gift cards for people who surrender fireworks at an event. Within the first 20 minutes, about 90 pounds of illegal fireworks were turned in.
“We understand the Fourth of July is an excellent time to enjoy and celebrate with families and friends, and we understand that historically fireworks are a big part of that. We get that,” Los Angeles Fire Department Capt. Erik Scott said during a news conference in Mission Hills to announce the buyback program.
Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore reminded residents that possession and use of fireworks in the city is illegal — even if they are purchased outside the city limits.
“I will ask Angelenos, don’t put the police department, don’t put these officers in the awkward position of having to mess up your holiday and your event because you decide to go out and buy $300 or $400 worth of fireworks and put on a display in front of your house,” he said.
Scott noted that the severe drought means hillsides are ripe territory for wildfires, and fireworks can easily trigger a blaze.
“Our wildfire danger is ever prevalent and it’s only exacerbated by the ongoing drought,” Scott said. “Our hillsides are very susceptible to a spark, so one less spark is one less wildfire. We want you to join our team to ensure that.”