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CAL FIRE: shooting off your own fireworks too dangerous

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RIVERSIDE, Calif - Firework stands are setting-up in the Valley in cities that allow "safe and sane" fireworks for the Fourth of July.  However, CAL FIRE is urging everyone to play it safe  and not shoot off fireworks on your own. 

It's not Fourth of July without the bombs bursting in the air, and in the air is where local authorities want it to stay, far away from you.

"Fireworks are very dangerous," said CAL FIRE Fire Chief John Hawkins.

Each year  about 8,700 people will end up in the hospital, a large number of them children.  It's a staggering statistic CAL FIRE says you can prevent. 

"Adults are the ones to provide guidance, so the message being adults please help us prevent fireworks related injuries," said Hawkins at a joint press conference Wednesday.

This year the concern is also wildfires, with dry conditions, all it could take to start a major wildfire is just one spark 

"We are just really concerned that the parents understand the significance of  the drought and how dry the land is and any spark from using an illegal firework has the potential to cause great harm and possibly death," said Riverside County Sheriff Chief Deputy Shelley Kennedy-Smith.

In 2011, Fourth of July fireworks started about 18,000 fires across the country. 

"Once a fire starts it has the potential to spread very quickly," said Kennedy-Smith.

"Sometimes people think they are only in the wild-land, in reality often sparklers or bottle rockets set off roof fires so in a developed area we could have a multitude of roof fires in a community," said Hawkins.

Which is why this Fourth of July, officials said you should enjoy public fireworks shows instead of taking the risk of firing off your own. 

The desert cities that offer "safe and sane" fireworks are Cathedral City, Indio, Desert Hot Springs and Coachella.

For more information on how to enjoy a safe Fourth of July click here

Most popular Fourth of July fireworks shows

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