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By Sam DiGiovanna

June 30, 2014 (San Diego's East County)--These words are make fire officials cringe says Fire Cief Sam DiGiovanna, East County Magazine’s in-house fire chief and columnist.  It will be a long three-day 4th of July weekend.

As drought conditions worsen and the fire danger escalates, fire officials recommend everyone attend public fireworks shows, and leave the lighting to the professionals.  Purchase or use of fireworks by individuals is illegal across San Diego County.

“The problem is many cities that ban fireworks are already seeing an influx of illegal fireworks being set off, says Chief DiGiovanna.

To help reduce the risk of fire, keep barbeque grills away from anything that can burn, such as your house, car or dry vegetation. Don't leave the grill unattended while it's cooking. Keep children and pets away from the grill. Make sure coals are completely extinguished and cold before disposing of them.

While outdoors, stay hydrated and consume lots of water. Avoid direct sun.

Make sure your pets are kept indoors as loud noises such as fireworks can scare them and cause them to run away.

Contact your local fire department and visit for additional safety information.

Drive safely - and have a happy 4th of July!


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