Some Washington cities, counties issue emergency fireworks bans amid dry conditions

After days of historic heat, fireworks bans are going into effect for the Fourth of July, and some of those were put into place as emergency bans in cities and counties that usually allow them.

Because it can be confusing as to where fireworks are allowed, it is best to check with the city or county where you live.

For instance, there’s a fireworks ban in the city of Tacoma, but not in unincorporated Pierce County.

The Pierce County Council sent out a tweet Tuesday saying it was trying to enact an emergency ordinance but failed to get the votes needed, so people living in unincorporated areas will be able to set off fireworks.

For years, South King Fire in Snohomish County has lobbied for a fireworks ban, and got one for unincorporated areas of southwest Snohomish County this year.

Bothell this week signed off on a temporary ban through July 5 for selling, possessing or lighting fireworks, citing the weather conditions which brought extreme heat and dry conditions to the area.

Mercer Island also issued a temporary order banning fireworks this year due to record-breaking temperatures and dry conditions. Mercer Island police officers will be conducting enhanced patrols over the Fourth of July weekend, and those caught violating the order could be fined $500.

There’s also a ban in Bellevue, where authorities are also encouraging people to report the illegal use of fireworks.

Elma has also banned fireworks through the July 4 holiday.

Thurston County enacted an emergency ban on consumer fireworks in unincorporated areas because of weather conditions, after consulting with the county fire marshal.

Fireworks are allowed in unincorporated King County this year, but the county passed a ban on sales and use of consumer fireworks that will go into effect in June of 2022.

Last year in Washington, there were 597 fireworks-related incidents reported, including 360 fires and 237 injuries, the city of Renton said.

The good news for some areas is that some professional displays are back despite COVID-19 protocols since the state fully reopened on Wednesday.

Though Tacoma is going to have its Freedom Fair and Air Show on July 3 and 4, it will not include fireworks.