John Cádiz Klemack
Firefighters in Southern California are preparing for what could be a busy holiday weekend, and warning residents about the dangers of carelessness when it comes to smoking and fireworks, especially after the brutal heat wave that gripped the region. John Cádiz Klemack reports from the Hollywood Hills for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on July 3, 2013.
“No smoking! No fires! No fireworks!”
Those words come from Joe Edmiston, of the Santa Monica Mountain Conservancy, who was one of many officials laying out a plan to prevent hillside fires this Fourth of July.
The main message conveyed Wednesday revolved around illegal fireworks.
"They're unsafe for you and unsafe for your neighbors and we will prosecute you if you do them," LA City Attorney Mike Feurer warned.
“Setting off fireworks on July 4 is not patriotic, it's idiotic," added L.A. City Councilman Paul Koretz.
With fuel moisture levels at record lows after a brutal heat wave, officials are trying to get the word out to revelers who plan to visit the Santa Monica Mountains this weekend.
They’re reminding the public of a zero-tolerance policy for fireworks, and urging residents in the vulnerable hillside and mountain areas of Los Angeles to report suspicious activity.
“We are lucky to be living here and we must protect it,” Hollywood Hills resident Mel Rumba said.
With the deadly Yarnell Fire burning in Arizona, the threat here in Southern California is seen as all too real, particularly for fires started by anything other than Mother Nature.
“Fireworks are illegal in the city of Los Angeles,” said Jaime Moore, with Los Angeles City Fire Department.
“People will be held accountable and the last thing we want to do is combat fires that were unnecessarily set due to someone's curiosity with fireworks.”