In an annual activity that has become as much a part of the Fourth of July holiday as the fireworks themselves, the Pasadena Fire Department will douse nearly 54-acres of hillsides around the Rose Bowl with Phos-Chek, a wildland fire retardant, in an effort to prevent grass and brush fires.
Today, Pasadena Fire Chief Bertral Washington and Interim Police Chief John Perez held a press conference to discuss the City’s Fourth of July “Zero Tolerance” policy regarding illegal fireworks and warn residents of the dangers of illegal fireworks.
Fire department crews then began the application of nearly 8 tons of Phos-Chek in areas surrounding Rose Bowl Stadium where the 91st Annual Americafest, the largest 4th of July fireworks show in Southern California, will take place on Wednesday.
“We want to cover the areas where the fireworks are going off,” said Pasadena Fire Dept. Chief Washington. “We also we have what’s called a very high hazard zone around this area and so we’ve identified pockets along the Arroyo, away from the Rose Bowl that we’re also going to spray.”
Phos-Chek, made with ingredients which include phosphates and fertilizers, is not harmful to pets or the environment.
The Sierra Madre Fire Department is partnering with Pasadena firefighters in creating and spraying the solution, according to Washington.
‘We’re going to be spraying our firefighters are spraying throughout the day (Monday.) We’re very fortunate to have our partnership with Sierra Madre who has a special truck here that allows us to mix up the Phos-Chek and spray it effectively,” Washington said.
Fire department volunteers are also canvassing City neighborhoods to warn residents of firework dangers and while educating the community about the City’s policy regarding them.
“Last year we confiscated 86 pounds of fire of fireworks. Last year we also had 54 emergency responses on the fourth. We had 36 medical calls,” said Washington. “The city has recently amended our municipal code, which can now hold property owners and tenants responsible for any fireworks that occur on their property. This allows for the prosecution of fireworks-related offenses and all cost associated with safe disposal of confiscated fireworks.”
Anyone caught possessing illegal fireworks faces a maximum of six months jail and fines up to $1,000 plus the cost of disposal—$100 per pound for a misdemeanor offense.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, approximately 10,500 injuries occur from fireworks each year.
The Pasadena Police and Fire Departments would like to remind the public to remain vigilant during the holiday and to report suspicious activity by calling (626) 744-4241 or call 911 in an emergency.