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Dry weather snuffs out fireworks show in Stevenson Ranch

Fourth of July restrictions prompted by wildfire fears, not issued by county officials

Posted: June 8, 2009 10:09 p.m.
Updated: June 9, 2009 4:55 a.m.
Event organizers worried about mixing bone-dry conditions with holiday pyrotechnics have decided to cancel the 10th annual Fourth of July fireworks show at Richard Rioux Park in Stevenson Ranch, a county official said.

The fireworks display was paid for by the Stevenson Ranch Homeowner's Association and a Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation facility.

But a continued pattern of dry weather and fears of a wildfire sparked by the pyrotechnics prompted homeowner association officials to cancel the event, said Dave Bossert of the West Ranch Town Council.

"It was a collective decision by the homeowners association based on my recommendation," he said.

The decision by Bossert and westside residents to cancel the show was made independent of any warnings by the Los Angeles County Fire Department, said County Fire Inspector Frank Garrido.

"We have issued no fireworks restrictions," he added.

Construction at Richard Rioux Park may have factored into the decision to cancel, said Maeve McConnell, County Parks Department spokeswoman.

Construction at the park's horseshoe pits make it difficult to fit the fireworks show's average attendance of 10,000 people into the park, she said.

Bossert said the fireworks will return by next year.

"The show will be retooled for next year," he said.

The fireworks display held annually at Castaic Lake Recreation Area will be held as scheduled on the Fourth of July, McConnell said.

Other changes could be happening in the near future at Richard Rioux Park.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors will vote today on whether to allocate $254,000 to build a new basketball court at the park.

Richard Rioux Park is open daily for pick-up games, McConnell said.


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