With Southern California expected to see elevated fire conditions this week, the Los Angeles County Fire Department is on high alert.
The department is gearing up with pre-deployed strike teams as forecasters predict hot, dry and windy conditions in the interior valleys, mountains and deserts throughout the week.
And on a holiday in which many people flock to the outdoors and host barbecues, fire officials are urging against any activities that can spark a fire.
“We want to really, really impress on people. Please, no fireworks,” L.A. County Fire Department spokesman Jonathan Matheny said. “It is not legal to use fireworks of any kind. It is not advised for them to do any kind of lighting of anything outside, other than a grill they can be cooking on.”
Brush fires can ignite easily and spread quickly in these fire conditions, and the Fire Department’s crews are ready to quickly respond to any blazes that ignite. But if winds are strong, the firefight can be difficult.
“The forces that combine to make the conditions for a potential brush fire are beginning to line up,” Matheny said.
With triple-digit temperatures expected in some areas, the National Weather Service advises against campfires, outdoor target shooting, burning yard debris, driving vehicles in or near dry grass, smoking in areas with dry vegetation or using weed-whacking, mowing or welding equipment.