While the weather has returned to more typical cool and cloudy weather, King County Fire Marshal Chris Ricketts says the safest thing residents can do is avoid discharging fireworks this year, given the recent hot, dry weather.
A Stage 1 burn ban is already in effect for unincorporated King County, and this Fourth of July holiday will mark the last time residents will be allowed to discharge consumer fireworks in the unincorporated areas. Fireworks sales and use will be banned in unincorporated King County beginning in 2022.
The Executive has reviewed the fire danger status with the Fire Marshal. Temperatures have moderated and with the current weather outlook, an emergency fireworks ban is not anticipated for unincorporated King County.
Still, given the record heat in the region this last week, the county urges residents and visitors to the unincorporated areas to not discharge any fireworks. We recommend attending one of the public firework displays scheduled in the area. If residents do discharge consumer fireworks, they must exercise extreme caution.
“While we want everyone to enjoy their Fourth of July holiday, the safest bet this year is to avoid lighting them altogether,” Ricketts says. “Conditions are extremely dry given the recent extreme heat wave. If you do light fireworks, people must be aware of their surroundings and potential dangers.”
Ricketts strongly urges against using consumer fireworks and offered a few instructions to legally and safely do so:
- Fireworks are banned in many King County cities (check with your local jurisdiction)
- Fireworks purchased from approved firework stands can only be discharged in unincorporated King County on July 4, and they must be sold by Washington State licensed retailers at approved permitted stands.
- Fireworks not purchased from a state-licensed, fireworks retailor cannot legally be discharged in unincorporated King County. They may be considered explosive material.
- If it has a stick or fins and it goes up, or if it explodes, it is illegal in Washington State.
- Fireworks are not allowed in King County Parks, per King County Code.
- Fireworks may be discharged only on July 4 from 9 a.m. to midnight.
- Fireworks sales are allowed 9 a.m.-11 p.m., through July 4. You must be at least 16 years old, with photo identification, to purchase fireworks.
- If you choose to buy and discharge fireworks, follow these safety tips:
- Always have a responsible adult light all fireworks.
- Use eye protection.
- Have a charged garden hose or a fire extinguisher handy.
- Use fireworks outdoors only—away from buildings, houses with wood exteriors, trees, and dry fields.
- Avoid aerial fireworks.
- Light one item at a time, move away quickly, and have everyone keep a safe distance.
- If a device does not light or fire, an adult should wait at least five minutes before approaching it.
- Clean up all debris and soak used fireworks in water before disposing of them.
- Keep pets safe (Regional Animal Services of King County provides information about fireworks safety for pets).
To report illegal fireworks usage or potential danger, residents can contact the 24-hour non-emergency line from the King County Sheriff’s Office at 206-296-3311. If you need immediate help from the police, medics or fire department always call 9-1-1.
- Starting next year, the sale and use of consumer fireworks in unincorporated King County will be prohibited
- With high temperatures forecast through the weekend, Fire Marshal issues Stage 1 fire safety burn ban starting Thursday, June 24
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Brent Champaco, Local Services, 206-477-9094, firstname.lastname@example.org