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Western Washington fireworks bans are a hot topic ahead of 4th of July

Fireworks over Lake Union in Seattle on July 4, 2018. (KIRO Radio/Matt Pitman)

Fireworks are always a touchy topic when the 4th of July rolls around. This year, proposed bans in both Snohomish County and the city of Dupont have entered the conversation.

2018 saw 209 fireworks-related injuries

Currently, Snohomish County Council is considering a ban that would affect unincorporated areas in the south end of the county near Everett, Lynnwood, and more. The push comes largely from fire officials, who cite difficulty in reaching more rural areas.

Opposing the ban is Snohomish County Councilmember Nate Nehring.

“Proponents of these bans are typically concerned with things like damaging property, lighting off fireworks days or weeks before or after the 4th, lighting off fireworks like M-80s or another type — all those things are are already illegal,” Nehring told KTTH’s Jason Rantz.

Beyond that, Nehring pointed out that unincorporated areas are some of the last remaining parts of Snohomish County where fireworks are still permitted.

“There are lots of cities which have stricter regulations, but I don’t think it’s right to impose that lifestyle on people who want more of a rural lifestyle,” he said.

The concerns that some in law enforcement have relate directly to logistics.

“Enforcing a fireworks ban is not going to be a high priority for them,” Nehring noted, citing a conversation he had with the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office.

DuPont

Dupont Mayor Mike Courts called for an emergency ban on fireworks on Monday, following a brush fire on the city’s bluff over the weekend.

Courts met with staff first thing Monday morning to determine what state law allows “relative to a temporary emergency ban on fireworks.” Even so, DuPont City Council opted not to enact the ban after a special meeting.

State law allows firework sales to start at noon on June 28 and sales in areas that allow fireworks can continue until 9 p.m. July 5. But many cities in Washington have more restrictive laws prohibiting fireworks.

Here are some of the major cities that ban fireworks:

  • Seattle
  • Tacoma
  • Bellevue
  • Everett
  • Olympia
  • Bellingham
  • Spokane

Here are some of the areas that allow fireworks on the Fourth of July.

  • North Bend
  • Lakewood
  • Puyallup
  • Sumner
  • Arlington
  • Lake Stevens

KIRO 7’s Casey McNerthney and KIRO Radio staff contributed to this report

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