Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Maybe Skip the Fireworks Next Year?

Maybe it’s time to stop setting off fireworks displays.

Fireworks have always been dangerous, annually causing injuries and even deaths. Now they are the leading cause of forest fires in the west. This year with with record heat forecasts, scientists have begun urging public officials to ban the practice all together.

According to a recent article in, more than 150 scientists signed a letter urging leaders in western states to “skip the fireworks this July 4th and to avoid other activities that could start an unintentional wildfire. This will be critical for a safe Independence Day holiday, good practice for the rest of the fire season, and one way we can adapt to more safely live in increasingly flammable landscapes.”

Fireworks also create poor air quality. This year the South Coast AQMD issued a Particulate Advisory due to 4th of July fireworks.

“Fireworks are known to emit high levels of particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10) as well as metal air pollutants, all of which can contribute to negative health effects. Due to fireworks related to Independence Day celebrations, the Air Quality Index (AQI) may reach the Very Unhealthy AQI category or higher from the evening of Sunday, July 4th through the early afternoon on Monday, July 5th. The use of personal “backyard” fireworks also contributes to this air pollution and can further increase how much air pollution a person is breathing. Fireworks may lead to Very Unhealthy regional air quality, however, personal exposure to consumer grade “backyard” fireworks may create local fine particulate matter concentrations far in excess of regional values in the direct proximity to users.”

And even getting rid of unused fireworks is dangerous.

Last week, 17 people, including police officers, were injured when an LAPD bomb squad attempted to safely detonate improvised explosive devices along with  5,000 pounds of illegal fireworks that had been seized from a home, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Aside from the fire danger, there’s the noise. One Buzz reader suggested it’s time to consider less noisy alternatives that don’t traumatize our local pets and other loved ones who might be distributed by sudden loud noises.

But if we skip the fireworks…then what?

The town of Tusayan, Arizona decide to celebrate the 4th of July and it tenth anniversary by using drones flashing red, white, and blue instead of fireworks, according to KPNX-TV in Arizona. Located near the Kaibab National Forest, the town leaders say it’s entirely dependent on a healthy forest for the local economy and because of that, they have never had a fireworks display.



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Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard is the publisher of the Larchmont Buzz. Patty lives with her family in Fremont Place. She has been active in neighborhood issues since moving here in 1989. Her pictorial history, "Larchmont" for Arcadia Press is available at Chevalier's Books.

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