EL MONTE (CBSLA.com) — Officials Tuesday demonstrated the danger of illegal fireworks.

El Monte police and Los Angeles County Fire chiefs joined together at an 11 a.m. news conference at the Los Angeles County Fire Station 166, 3615 Santa Anita Ave., to explain how the recent heat wave combined with Fourth of July celebrations can create high fire danger.

“We have critical low fuel moisture volumes that are so low and so extreme at this time, and we’re seeing fuel moisture that we would normally see in the early to middle fall conditions,” LA County Fire Chief Andy Grzywa said.

El Monte Police Department has confiscated more than 30 tons of illegal fireworks during 14 different sting operations since June 6.

A few of them were set off as part of the demonstration.

“We’re very concerned with the use of particularly illegal fireworks but even safe and sane fireworks if they’re not used properly,” Grzywa said.

Hospital emergency rooms across the country treated an estimate 8,600 people for firework-related injuries in 2010, and a majority of those occurred around the Fourth of July holiday, according to the United States Fire Administration.


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