Nearly 700 pounds of fireworks collected in Mission Hills

Los Angeles officials collected nearly 700 pounds of fireworks on Saturday as part of a buyback program at Brand Park in Mission Hills.

Hosted by Councilor Monica Rodriguez for the second year in a row, the event was held in response to community concerns about fires outbreaks amid severe drought and historically dry conditions. She said the buyback generated about a third more illegal fireworks than last year’s event, in which officials collected £514.

“I really appreciate the community members who have volunteered to participate in this buyback effort to remove dangerous fireworks from our communities,” Rodriguez said in a statement, adding that the surge in recovery holds promise for a larger citywide effort.

“I look forward to expanding next year to bring peace back to Los Angeles neighborhoods.”

Drought can cause fires to spread quickly, especially in “high” hot spots like the northeast San Fernando Valley, and fireworks only exacerbate the threat, the councilor’s office said.

They can also be distressing for those with autism or other sensory problems, as well as those with post-traumatic stress disorder. Pets can also be bothered by the bangs and flashes.

A total of 75 people stopped at the park on Saturday to hand in illegal fireworks, including air mortars, air missiles, M-80s and M-1000s, officials said. Depending on the weight of the fireworks they submitted, participants received Dodger tickets, gas cards, or gift cards to Starbucks or Target.

The Los Angeles Police Department and Fire Department were on hand to receive the fireworks and make sure it was handled properly.

Last month, Los Angeles City Atty. Mike Feuer warned residents against using illegal fireworks in the run-up to the holiday, saying his office would be cracked. He said his office issued letters of termination to online platforms such as Facebook and Craigslist that advertise fireworks sales in Los Angeles.

Fireworks are illegal in the city of Los Angeles, and selling, possessing, using or discharging them can result in a fine of up to $1,000 and/or up to one year in prison, the city attorney’s office said.

Last year, a block in South Los Angeles was blown up in a botched fireworks explosion by the LAPD bomb squad.

In recent weeks, several towns in the area have canceled their fireworks displays after state authorities raided the offices of the company hired to deliver the fireworks.

Still, plenty of other Los Angeles County locations host their own fireworks displays.

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