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Schwarzenegger Says "No Fireworks" for 4th, Fires Rage On

Schwarzenegger Says "No Fireworks" for 4th, Fires Rage On

With more than 1,400 fires engulfing the forests of California, President George W. Bush has designated areas from Nevada to the Pacific Ocean an official federal disaster area, allowing FEMA to dispatch equipment and financial relief to the counties that have been devastated by the blazes. So far more than 17,000 firefighters from more than 35 states are currently battling the fires with nearly 1,200 fire engines and 85 helicopters.

Given the unprecedented amount of fires raging throughout the state, the air in Northern California has been reduced to an unhealthy smog of ash causing the cancellation of athletic activities and other outdoor events. Some regions are registering the worst air quality on record with smoke from the fires ascending to the ground levels like a fog. Air quality departments are concerned about small-particle pollution in which tiny particles can penetrate the immunity system and burrow deep into the lungs and blood stream. Health officials have reported an increase in eye and throat irritation and have warned that the poor air can cause asthma attacks and bronchitis.

The raging fires are putting a damper on Independence Day celebrations as well. To see how,


Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in a bid to help firefighters has requested that residents do not purchase or use fireworks for the upcoming Fourth of July holiday. Said the Governor: “I know that the people that are selling all this stuff are going to go crazy now when I say this, but don’t buy fireworks.” This request has sparked its own controversy from groups and charities that rely on sales of fireworks to keep their organizations running. A high school coach said: “We can make $3,000, $4,000, up to $5,000 a year. It’s a huge chunk of change for us.”

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) foreshadowed a season of blazes saying, "It is hot, and the state is tinder-dry. This will be a long fire season."


Join The Conversation
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
Maybe we should let some of these fires burn, you know, to clear out the underbrush and dead stuff that is causing the major fires we are fighting now. Also, who's going to pay for the carbon footprint caused by these wildfires?
The-City-Girl The-City-Girl 9 years
Hypno--several people in my office had to go home sick because they were having respiratory issues! Blegh. PS: Did you go to Pride on Sunday??
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
I know city girl I'm on Montgomery and Washington in a high rise and it looked pretty bad for while.
The-City-Girl The-City-Girl 9 years
The smoke here in San Francisco has been insane. I work on the top floor of a tall building with a view over the whole city and bay, and until today I haven't had even a mile's visibility because of the horrible gray-yellow haze of smoke. Every morning when I came out of my house it smelled like people had their fireplaces going on all night. I'm SO glad that it's finally clearing up (and it's actually a crystal-clear, gorgeous day!), so if we have to forego fireworks to ensure that it doesn't happen again, so be it.
MindayH MindayH 9 years
If the kids can't sell fireworks then I am sure that it would be a great real world lesson for them to get creative and sell something else. The amount that the fires cost the state alone are considerable, also, the harm that fireworks and fires cause...not worth it
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
Well it's not a State mandate they're not going to get arrested for selling them. He's just asking people air on the side of caution and not purchase them this year. Under the circumstances that does not even come close to unreasonable.
kikidawn kikidawn 9 years
Oh I love sparklers! :) Good childhood memories there! I live in Oklahoma and we've actually been ok with no severe droughts/fires/problems this year. Occasionally they are bad here though. My parents live about 20 miles north of the Arbuckle Mountains. In 2000 (I think) there was a huge fire that burned down all of the forestry on the mountains and we had ash all the way up to my parents house. In 2006 there was another fire. Both fires closed I-35 that runs north and south through the mountains. The other highway (77) was also closed b/c it actually winds through the mountains. As far as I know we are still able to have fireworks this year (it's not outlawed completely here). My parents are actually throwing a big party (they do every year) and I am super excited!! I understand that charities/schools/etc are losing money, but to me lives far outweigh that.
i-heart-monster i-heart-monster 9 years
Thanks for trying :) I'll do a search on youtube - I'm sure they're on there somewhere!
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
Hmm...I don't know how to describe them. In my eyes, most people don't even consider them fireworks. They are just those sticks that you hold and you light one end and it sparks and then dies out. I don't think that's a very good description, though...
i-heart-monster i-heart-monster 9 years
Sadly, I don't even know what a sparkler is :(
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
Home fireworks shows are illegal in Ohio, as well, with a few small exceptions like for sparklers. In Ohio, there are fireworks that aren't sponsored by cities (i.e. at professional baseball games, county fairs, etc.), however, there are not supposed to be home fireworks shows. Unfortunately, not everyone abides by that rule and people have been seriously injured.
stephley stephley 9 years
Yes YY, I live in Southern Cal., fireworks were city sponsored in Santa Monica. It was actually chilly all night.
i-heart-monster i-heart-monster 9 years
Fireworks are illegal in Arizona... I've only ever had civic sponsored 4th of July shows, and only in really really really wet years. Fireworks=Man-induced Forest Fires. I'll live without them, thanks.
Bettyesque Bettyesque 9 years
I do feel bad for the schools and children also, but honestly there is a chance they'd lose there school from fires so why not take every precaution to avoid that.
Kimpossible Kimpossible 9 years
I don't understand how people can whine or complain about not being able to sell fireworks when the fires are raging like they are right now. It reminds me of a year back in FL there were very bad fires south of us and with the wind etc. we were getting smog and ash in our area. Really bad ash, and I remember people complaining about how they couldn't swim in their pools because the ash was so bad.. and all I kept thinking was... you're complaining because you can't swim in your pool because of the ash and people have died and lost their homes because of these fires... unbelievable.
yesteryear yesteryear 9 years
yeah using fireworks in california right now would be incredibly irresponsible. i was at a barbecue saturday in oakland and someone nearby must have been unloading some old fireworks or something, because huge ones were going off for 15 minutes or so. of course, we all thought it was gunfire and hit the deck.
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
I feel bad for kids who will lose the fundraising money but there's always car washes and bottle drives!
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
While i understand how the sellers of fireworks are freaking because they will lose money, how callous is it of them to whine about money when thier fireworks could potentially start a costly and damaging fire to california residents, what about potential loss of life, is that worth the 3 grand?
sugarbean sugarbean 9 years
I haven't heard anything about canceling the permitted public fireworks shows, but in FL they've pretty much made most fireworks illegal (I think the rule of thumb is if it shoots up or if it goes BANG, it's illegal) There's a little known loophole, however. Florida law allows the use of fireworks for protecting fisheries (scares off the birds). Then the question becomes whether a koi pond qualifies as a fishery...
yesteryear yesteryear 9 years
stephley, do you live in california?
stephley stephley 9 years
My town had fireworks Saturday night - I don't know if my daughter could last another year without them. She plans that evening starting in May.
Taadie Taadie 9 years
I hope people listen. Fireworks are fun but I wouldn't want to be the one responsible for exacerbating the problem and preventing them from finally getting the fires under control.
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