Emergency ban on fireworks? Unincorporated King County community advocates ask for it in online-petition drive

2:56 PM: As we were discussing here just yesterday, while fireworks are illegal within the Seattle city limits, they’re legal on the other side of the line, in unincorporated King County, and that’s unquestionably where some if not most of the fireworks illegally used here are bought. So you might be interested to know that community leaders from the unincorporated areas of North Highline and West Hill have just launched a petition drive asking county leaders for an emergency fireworks ban – the petition is on this Change.org page. The petition is addressed to the County Executive and County Fire Marshal. We’ll be checking with their offices, as well as with County Councilmember Joe McDermott, to see if this is something they are considering. Right now, fireworks sales in the unincorporated area are scheduled to start at noon on Sunday.

3:43 PM: We’ve just spoken with Jim Chan in the King County Permits and Environmental Review department, which oversees the Fire Marshal’s Office. He says the same thing that commenter Karen was told by the County Executive’s Office – that the county has no authority for an emergency ban; any ban couldn’t take effect for a year. Chan says a few Washington counties’ laws enable such a ban – Douglas and San Juan Counties, he mentioned – but for King County, that sort of authority has just never come up. We asked if the state would have authority, then, to take an action that could enable an immediate emergency local ban, and he said yes. So we’ll be checking next with the state Fire Marshal’s Office. Meantime, we were forwarded a news release that the county Fire Marshal’s Office had been planning to issue, saying only this:

King County fire agencies are urging citizens to attend one of the many professional public fireworks displays during the Fourth of July weekend. Prolonged dry weather and below average spring rainfall have cured grass and vegetation growth, creating high fire danger nearly six weeks earlier than normal. Last year in King County fire agencies responded to nearly 200 fire calls with 82 of them related to fireworks, as reported in the 2014 Washington State Fire Marshal report.

While it is not advisable to light fireworks, follow the three B’s – Be Prepared, Be Safe, and Be Responsible. Retail fireworks go on sale June 28 through July 4 and in those communities that allow fireworks, discharge is limited to July 4 from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. only.

73 Replies to "Emergency ban on fireworks? Unincorporated King County community advocates ask for it in online-petition drive"

  • anonyme June 24, 2015 (3:01 pm)

    Who the hell thinks this will work when there is NO enforcement of existing bans – NONE??!! I’m so frigging sick of this crap every year, and SPD even has the gall to go on TV and announce that they will NOT be enforcing the law.

    That would be a damn good start.

    • WSB June 24, 2015 (3:33 pm)

      Anony, maybe fireworks use enforcement is a thorny issue but a ban on fireworks sales wouldn’t be. There aren’t that many stands.
      .
      However, moot point perhaps, as Karen seems to have a more definitive answer than I’ve gotten (though my inquiries are only minutes old). I did just get a copy of the Fire Marshal statement urging people to go see the professional displays instead of having their own.

      • WSB June 24, 2015 (3:42 pm)

        … and that said, I have just spoken to someone in the office that oversees the King County Fire Marshal’s office. While the county couldn’t do this itself, he says the state fire marshal could. I’ll have to track them down next. – TR

  • Karen June 24, 2015 (3:02 pm)

    So awesome. I just emailed Joe and Dow about this today!

  • Karen June 24, 2015 (3:12 pm)

    Here’s what Dow’s person said to me earlier today:

    Thank you for your e-mail regarding a temporary or permanent ban on fireworks in King County. Executive Constantine forwarded me a copy of your email and asked me to respond to you on his behalf.

    The fireworks issue is a complicated one. King County has 39 cities, most of which have their own fireworks laws. In 2009, 21 cities had banned the discharge of fireworks at any time (including Seattle) and another 14 limited fireworks discharge to the Fourth of July only. In the unincorporated areas of King County, legal fireworks discharge is limited to the Fourth of July and New Year’s Eve.

    State law dictates that local legislation banning the sale or use of fireworks takes effect after one year of passage, in order to allow organizations which rely on the revenue from seasonal fireworks sales to explore other fundraising options. Due to the one-year delay provision of state law, King County has no authority to impose a temporary fireworks ban. In response to this year’s drought, the King County Fire Marshall is working with Fire Chiefs from cities and fire districts across the county to encourage residents to attend a professional public fireworks display rather than discharging their own fireworks.

    The King County Council could impose a permanent ban on fireworks discharge in the unincorporated areas, although, like any fireworks legislation, it would not take effect until one year after its passage.

    Thanks again for writing.

    James Bush
    Communications Specialist
    for King County Executive Dow Constantine

    I asked him about an emergency ban and he replied:

    Unfortunately, King County has no authority to impose a temporary ban. The state law, which is RCW 70.77.250 (4), says that any fireworks regulation more restrictive than state law approved by a city or county has an effective date of one year after its passage. So, the County Council could vote now to ban fireworks on a temporary or permanent basis, but the law would take effect in June 2016.

    James

  • Courtney June 24, 2015 (3:18 pm)

    Most people I know drive a ways (aka to the Reservation) to buy the fireworks they set off in the unincorporated area of Top Hat/North Highline that I live in.

    Additionally – banning them and the sale of them neither prevents people from accessing them (and really, between July 1-July 3 have you SEEN the lines of people streaming in/out of Muckleshoot reservation!)nor prevents them from firing them off (because there’s no enforcement). How many King County sheriff’s do we have assigned to our little unincorporated area, 2 in any given shift? 3? I doubt the county (nor the local cities nearby) have enough officers to assign for the 4th to enforce the ban by confiscating and writing tickets.

  • Paul June 24, 2015 (3:21 pm)

    I would LOVE to see a ban on fireworks in unincorporated King County. Not only are they dangerous, they create havoc for small animals. Plus, given our lack of rainfall the land is very dry and fire danger high. Please sign the petition!

  • West Seattle Hipster June 24, 2015 (3:52 pm)

    As much I as like the idea of a ban, in my opinion it will be a mostly symbolic gesture, as enforcement will be next to impossible.

    .

    How about banning the sale of explosives by Indian tribes?

  • Darren June 24, 2015 (4:19 pm)

    I wish they would ban fireworks everywhere!!!

  • kobdvs June 24, 2015 (4:32 pm)

    Thankfully this won’t happen. Sorry people, but deal with it for a couple of days. Fireworks are part of our culture and many – many of us – love them. Count me among those who absolutely will be illegally setting my portion of my West Seattle neighborhood ablaze on the evening of the 4th. I’ll be joined by about 30 neighbors … we have a blast every year.

  • Will June 24, 2015 (4:36 pm)

    Man, lots of party poppers here! Let people enjoy fireworks one night a year! We are supposed to be celebrating *freedom* on the 4th, after all…

  • Michael June 24, 2015 (4:47 pm)

    I live at Ames Lake, east of Redmond near Carnation, in unincorporated King County. I have been begging our worthless King County Councilperson, Kathy Lambert, to do something. Her office has said repeatedly over many years that there is “no interest” in banning them. It should be noted that there are wealthy people with homes on the lake here that will be hosting parties with clearly illegal fireworks displays and they are no doubt contributing to Kathy’s career on the council. I hope we can do something, we are in an acoustically sensitive area geographically and the sound bouncing off hills and trees makes it sound like what I imagine war sounds like. Which is good, according to one neighbor, because we should go through what the troops go through. Insanity. If we could do something, even if it wouldn’t take effect for a year, that would be a major coup.

  • Barbara June 24, 2015 (5:04 pm)

    Some things to ponder about fireworks –

    http://crosscut.com/2013/07/ban-bombs-shell-shocked-second-thoughts-about-4th/

  • Marianne June 24, 2015 (5:10 pm)

    Signed, and thank you!

  • Les June 24, 2015 (5:11 pm)

    The 4TH of July is the day we celebrate Americas freedom.
    Yes, fireworks can cause fires but far more fires are cause by cigarettes every year should we ban them too. Next month some people will complain that the Blue Angels are to noisy.
    Many of the things I did as a child would get me fined or arrested now days. Enough of this nanny state crap.
    lets enjoy our freedoms in this great country!

  • AIDM June 24, 2015 (5:20 pm)

    Its funny that the three B’s are all the word Be. Doesn’t really help me remember anything. By the way, don’t forget the three B’s of water safety and the three B’s of bicycle safety this week either!

  • Pun June 24, 2015 (5:34 pm)

    Kobdvs…….No pun intended?

  • Funrunner June 24, 2015 (5:46 pm)

    Ban all that crap

  • Paul June 24, 2015 (5:50 pm)

    I see a lot of comments about it being “just one night”. It is NOT one night in our neighborhood but rather two weeks of people setting off fireworks at all hours of the night. The trash is everywhere. You want to enjoy fireworks? Go watch them on TV or to a sponsored show…have some respect for your neighbors!

  • L June 24, 2015 (5:53 pm)

    I doubt the ban would work well. There are signs that say no fireworks in the park, not to mention closing at dusk, yet I’ve been down there the morning after to find it littered with fireworks debris. Not only did they shoot them off, they didn’t pick up after themselves.
    In the streets the people were much better.

  • anonyme June 24, 2015 (6:12 pm)

    Here’s the big question for Mr. Constantine. Are you going to make SURE that there is enforcement in Seattle, which does have a ban? Because if you don’t, I think the inevitable fires and damage that will occur should be on your shoulders, along with the Chief O’Toole.

    BE ACCOUNTABLE. I expect to see officers handing out whopping fines in Arbor Heights (aka, Little Damascus). NO warnings. Just big fines, which will more than cover all the OT. I can even provide you with addresses ahead of time, as the same people put on major displays year after year, and SPD just drives around their set ups in the middle of the street.

    NO MORE EXCUSES FROM SPD or CITY GOVERNMENT. DO YOUR JOBS AND ENFORCE THE LAW.

  • Namaste June 24, 2015 (6:19 pm)

    Karen – how did you get a reply and apparently a quick one? I’ve sent kind, short question emails to council members and mayors. Followed up once or twice over a month or two and zip, nada.

  • jno June 24, 2015 (6:20 pm)

    West Seattle Hipster – because the tribes have tribal sovereignty.

  • Matt S. June 24, 2015 (6:21 pm)

    I think we need some compromise as a community. Haters and small pets deal a little, fireworks lovers agree not to be a–holes and keep it to reasonable hours instead of a week-long all-hours spree. I like it when the whole neighborhood is booming and popping, I also just like sleeping eventually and moving on with life.

  • A. June 24, 2015 (6:30 pm)

    Has anyone ever thought that those loud explosions might bother people with ptsd? Didn’t think so ban them.

  • Namaste June 24, 2015 (7:09 pm)

    Amen Anonyme.

  • sam-c June 24, 2015 (7:15 pm)

    I am not a hater, just respectful of other people and pets. I LOVE fireworks. I wish my kid did too. but even if he did, we shouldn’t have to listen to them til 2-3 AM. he’s not keen on earplugs, instead he just cries all night long.

  • datamuse June 24, 2015 (7:18 pm)

    Has anyone ever thought that those loud explosions might bother people with ptsd?
    .
    Many of the veterans I know leave town for the holiday because it does indeed remind them of being in combat.

  • Courtney June 24, 2015 (7:28 pm)

    I should add: my house, along with my neighbors two deep on either side, light off a ton of ‘illegal’ rez fireworks. Thus far no one has been hurt (5yrs so far) and on the 5th we all spend time picking up the massive amounts of trash we created. So at least our half block cleans up after ourselves. I’d be fine either way (banned or not) as I can find pros on both sides. Certainly my 1yr old would sleep better & I wouldn’t have to tranq my dog. But banning the sales will only reduce slightly as most everyone goes to the rez. I think some years our area has more mortar display than an organized fireworks display.

  • Kimmy June 24, 2015 (8:23 pm)

    As with any other law, it’s mostly as good as it’s enforcement. There are plenty of illegal fireworks going off in and out of city limits every year, and I don’t think on a holiday night there’s enough enforcement to go around. Not to mention enforcement of laws is not just a holiday-specific issue.

    It’s the 4th of July, this isn’t happening 365 days a year. And they’re fireworks, not a war. Some leave town, some don’t, and we do continue to live.

  • AMD June 24, 2015 (9:17 pm)

    Les – it IS illegal to throw cigarette butts out the window.

    And while I’m all for celebrating Independence, getting together with neighbors, and other means of celebrating folks here in the comments are discussing, I do think it makes a lot of sense to try to limit the number of random people burning things and then shooting the burning things at random when it has been so dry for so long here.

    It’s not about not wanting to celebrate, it’s about mitigating fire risks in light of present conditions.

  • Question Mark June 24, 2015 (9:26 pm)

    Just a note that the way it stands it seems nigh impossible for the King County Council to enact a ban on fireworks before July 4 this year. Therefore, you can expect fireworks to be legal on July 4 next year, too.

    In King County, our sheriff John Urquhart has explained to us that it’s hard to enforce the ban against illegal fireworks in the county because proving the difference between legal and illegal fireworks at street level is just not a specialty that is worth maintaining in the force.

    What that doesn’t explain is why the sheriff’s force as well as police forces throughout the county aren’t willing to enforce an all-out ban, especially after July 4th is long over.

    –Mark

  • ban all the things June 24, 2015 (9:34 pm)

    What a bunch of killjoys!

  • Umm... June 24, 2015 (9:36 pm)

    Doesn’t a burn ban encompass fireworks? If our fire danger is extreme , and other types of outdoor burning are not allowed, would not fireworks be included? I don’t care as much about the noise, but having been thru a couple recent wildfires in Eastern WA, I think we are kidding ourselves to to think it can’t happen here. Fire in hot dry weather is stupid. Do we need to ban stupid activities? Apparently we do, because most fires are human caused.

  • comsence June 24, 2015 (10:15 pm)

    Remember a thing called safe and sane fireworks. Nothing that flies and lands, just mortars, fountains, similar to what they sell in WC. If folks could keep the celebration safe and controlled, and only on the 4th, wouldn’t be an issue.

  • Felix June 24, 2015 (11:16 pm)

    Fireworks on the 4th….ok
    Fireworks on 1st,2nd,3rd,5th,6th,7th…LAME

  • Greystreet June 25, 2015 (12:08 am)

    Umm.. you said it best, one would think a county wide burn ban would include items that are ignited and propelled into the air at which point their place of landing is out of the ignitors control. I, for one, am terrified, look at how many hoouse fires there have already been this yeear in West Seattle..I love this city, truly, but sometimes its priorities are severely out of place.

  • Maggie June 25, 2015 (5:15 am)

    +1 Umm…

    Logic tells me a burn ban due to extreme fire danger would of course include fireworks. I realize there are politics, but I hope to see our local and state government do the right thing in this situation. The dangers are great and a loss to all!

  • JoB June 25, 2015 (7:02 am)

    Those of us who leave town for the holiday to escape the continual bombardment of sound would love to have the opportunity to stay home and celebrate the 4th…

    we don’t have that option.

  • Born on Alki 59 June 25, 2015 (8:05 am)

    The statewide burn ban should include all fireworks. Tribal firework sales are illegal if they are transported off tribal land. How about enforcing that?

  • PleaseRelax June 25, 2015 (8:26 am)

    Is it just me or is it the same 5 people that continually complain about this issue on here? Considering the amount of people that celebrate the 4th with fireworks you are probably in the extreme minority, which is why the police don’t enforce it around the 4th. They would end up annoying the vast majority of the population if they started handing out fines or arresting people considering it is just not a big deal to most people…

  • anonyme June 25, 2015 (9:00 am)

    PleaseRelax – YES, it IS just you. The facts are the exact reverse of what you just stated, easily verified by a simple review of comments on this single post. Your scofflaw attitude reads like that of a 12 year old.

    Of course we wouldn’t want police enforcing the law if it ANNOYED people (i.e., criminals). God forbid.

    BOA 59, I think you’ve hit on something.

  • Morgan Junction Neighbor June 25, 2015 (9:34 am)

    I like public fireworks shows but don’t like having them set off all around my house. I would personally love a ban on fireworks sales but understand that people like to have fun on the 4th. I would suck it up one day each year IF it was ONE DAY EACH YEAR. In my neighborhood, fireworks will start next week and continue through most of the summer. Weekends, weeknights at 2am… When we left town in August last year, we had to specifically leave instructions for the dog sitter to not take the dog out after dark on any night because there would be fireworks. I wish there was some respect for those of us who don’t want to be awakened by fireworks multiple nights each week through the summer and want to echo some of the sentiments above that this is not a “it’s one day a year” argument. I don’t know if the Morgan Junction neighborhood is unique or if this is an issue in West Seattle as a whole. My friends in other neighborhoods of Seattle don’t have this problem.

    All of this being said, I have zero confidence that a ban would make any difference at all due to the lack of enforcement. Also, everyone should be considering the unusually dry conditions this year. When you set off airborne fireworks, you don’t always control or know where they land.

  • Mel June 25, 2015 (9:50 am)

    Fireworks are ILLEGAL?
    .
    You could never tell that by walking down Delridge the days before, during, and after July 4…

  • Born on Alki 59 June 25, 2015 (9:56 am)

    @ PleaseRelax, are you ok with people throwing lit cigs out car windows too? Just sayin’ this is one of the driest June’s on record. No relief in sight. I certainly don’t want bottle rockets landing on my roof. Do you?

  • Question Mark June 25, 2015 (10:56 am)

    Spotted last year in Unincorporated King County:

    https://groups.google.com/group/west-hill-connects/attach/34004f5ac105ce2e/DSC01253.jpg?part=0.1

    • WSB June 25, 2015 (11:11 am)

      Thanks, QM. Was trying to find that kind of photo in our files, couldn’t, though I know we’ve had some in the past.

  • anonyme June 25, 2015 (11:21 am)

    WSB, any update from the state Fire Marshal? If you have contact info, there are plenty of us who would like to put in a word.

    Would also like to hear some official announcements or response re: enforcement within Seattle city limits – other than the usual “don’t bother us”.

    • WSB June 25, 2015 (11:24 am)

      What I published a couple days ago *is* officially from Seattle Police. Meantime, I haven’t even had a chance to contact the state Fire Marshal yet – huge news morning and I have to write a doubleheader Crime Watch in the next 10 minutes. Will be checking with them this afternoon …

  • anonyme June 25, 2015 (11:32 am)

    Thanks for the follow up.

    Just confirming that the SPD response printed a few days ago is indeed the usual “don’t bother us” response, and that we can expect nothing more.

    Looking for the “doubleheader”…!

  • Laconique June 25, 2015 (4:37 pm)

    Just wanted to pile on- if it were one day and it wasn’t the driest summer in forever, I would be fine with fireworks. It’s not being a killjoy or a nanny-stater or a hater of all things fun to want to avoid burning down our neighborhoods! Also, fireworks have already started in my neighborhood, so I’ve been sitting out on my front lawn ranting about how much I hate fun and want to kill all joy. If the police won’t do anything, I’m all in favor of some good old PNW passive aggressive neighbor shaming.

  • STB June 25, 2015 (5:19 pm)

    @ ban all the things- Killjoys indeed! All over the place in here.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m a concerned homeowner as well, and for our pets and vets. I totally get it.

    Just hose your roof/lawn/shrubs/bushes down to be on the safe side – give everything a good soak. I do this every year, pretty simple. How hard is it?

    Petition NOT signed. Stay safe out there-

  • anonyme June 25, 2015 (5:42 pm)

    Word is that the state has refused the ban and thrown it back at the counties. I never saw such a bunch of wimpy do-nothings in my life.

    A true and relevant celebration of the 4th would be to toss these worthless bureaucrats out on their asses. I wonder what the response would be if someone set off bombs behind their houses at 2 am? Or their neighbors launched rocket after burning rocket onto their roofs? Worthless hypocrites. I’m beyond disgusted.

  • Question Mark June 25, 2015 (6:23 pm)

    Regarding the 3 B’s (sic): Be Prepared, Be Responsible, and Be Safe.

    To me, that works out as B.P., B.R., and B.S.!

  • Michael June 25, 2015 (9:39 pm)

    Regarding the response of Dow Constantine’s office to @Karen, a neighbor of mine who is in a position to know says:

    King County Executive Dow Constantine can under KCC 6.26.040 “F. In the event of drought or other fire hazard conditions that pose a threat to the public health, safety and welfare, the King County executive may, by executive order, declare an emergency and prohibit the sale or use of fireworks for that immediate year or until such conditions no longer exist.”

  • MsD June 25, 2015 (10:34 pm)

    Love how some people have no problem with just coming out and saying that their desire to set things on fire supersedes other peoples’ desire not to have their things set on fire. Sometimes if I didn’t see the mountains and Sound in the distance I’d think I was in Texas. May the only things burned to the ground belong to those celebrating freedom and ‘Murica with fire in tinderbox conditions.

  • PleaseRelax June 26, 2015 (6:18 am)

    Everyone talking about the weather conditions, while you have a point, you are missing the mark. Your concerns are justified and valid, and considering the dry conditions are warranted. This however is a common (i.e., yearly) theme here. It could be the wettest summer on record and you would still have the same people, making the same comments on this site. If you didn’t chime in the number of comments on this type of story would be the same, it would just be with another justification. When you get down to it, this is about a few people that don’t want to be disturbed, and they will come up with any reason they can to tug at our heartstrings to try to ensure that they can live a rural lifestyle in a major city…

  • phil dirt June 26, 2015 (7:57 am)

    Generally, I’m against bans. But dogs barking all day and night bother me more than fireworks. I’d rather have dogs banned in the city.

  • anonyme June 26, 2015 (8:33 am)

    PleaseRelax, you do understand that fireworks are illegal in Seattle – right? Right? What is YOUR justification for attacking those who would like to see the law enforced?

    The fact that we live in a major city is the very reason why this law SHOULD be enforced. Setting off bombs less than 20 feet from homes in a crowded urban setting, and having literally hundreds of burning rockets flying over, and landing on our rooftops is not a mere “disturbance”.

    I don’t give a rat’s ass what the weather conditions are this year; they are just another concern added to an already long list of why the LAW should be enforced.

  • JustRelax June 26, 2015 (10:08 am)

    “Bombs”? “Little Damascus”? Nothing like a little hyperbole in the morning. Not to mention the people of Damascus might take offense to that comment. Also, why resort to profanity? Messages get lost when civility is thrown out the door…

  • anonyme June 26, 2015 (10:18 am)

    Civility is not bombing your neighbors. I’m sorry analogies disturb you, but bombs do not. And I’d rather be “profane” and direct (oh, the horror!) than passive-aggressive.

  • JustRelax June 26, 2015 (12:05 pm)

    Trust me, I don’t think anyone reading this thread would accuse you of being anything other than aggressive. You do know the difference between an analogy and hyperbole, right?

  • joe June 28, 2015 (9:42 am)

    Like when a winter snowstorm hits our King County, and our public institutions respond in advance with a plan, there should be proactive strategies to control or ban fireworks when the weather is in an extreme dry spell such as it is currently. What does it take to avoid the inevitable, unnecessary, tragic fires occurring from fireworks this year and beyond?

  • bolo June 29, 2015 (12:39 am)

    Hard to find someone who cares but the 4th of July explosions have already started (12:30 midnight Monday 29 June). Somebody having a good time out there!

    • WSB June 29, 2015 (5:48 am)

      Fireworks sales started in the unincorporated areas Sunday afternoon.

  • Linda June 29, 2015 (4:14 pm)

    Confirmed San Juan and Douglas Counties are the only Counties with emergency fire provisions, Therefore, I’m still urging you to contact Gov Inslee for a statewide consumer fireworks ban. He can do this by declaring a state of emergency due to extreme fire danger under RCW 38.52.

    In the interim, other Counties can do the same thing prepare an emergency ordinance of their own for 2016. It is imperative the County Councils prepare/approve an ordinance (before 7/4/2015) that at a minimum gives them the authority to ban fireworks next year in unincorporated county areas should fire danger be like that we’re experiencing now.

    This deadline is required by state law which requires any restrictions be in place for a year in order to take effect. Every county should have this emergency option. It’s certainly better than claiming you can’t do anything while the unincorporated areas burn.

    http://mrsc.org/Home/Explore-Topics/Public-Safety/Fire-Protection/Fireworks-Regulation.aspx

    Emergency Provisions for Fire Danger
    •Douglas County Code Sec. 8.20.160 – Fireworks Sale Restrictions During Certain Emergencies
    •San Juan County Code Sec. 9.20.080 – Prohibition Due to Extreme Fire Danger

  • Stu June 30, 2015 (11:21 am)

    I don’t like a lot of the stereotypes about people that light fireworks, liking being irresponsible, setting stuff off at absurd hours. If there was a ban it would ruin lots of great traditions that cause no harm. In My neighborhood of Saybrook in unincorporated King county, everyone goes out to the reservations, and people are respectful, and safe. This tradition has been going on as long as I’ve lived here, and nobody has been hurt, and no fires have been started. So a ban would not be right

  • DK June 30, 2015 (11:45 pm)

    Do the people who are calling us party poopers actually live in unincorporated King county? If they did, they’d know that the issue isn’t that fireworks are legal here or that there is fire risk, it’s that these are combined together with hundreds and hundreds of Seattle people coming out to our neighborhoods and going berserk. I love fireworks and have shot them off illegally and legally my entire life. Strangers firing off mini sticks of dynamite in my back alley all of July 4th is a whole different beast.

  • BLW July 1, 2015 (9:15 am)

    Stop the sale and use of fireworks in WA State this year totally except for the major shows because of this heat wave. We all know it’s going to get worse through the next few months. Is the risk of endangering fire and policeman, humans and animals less important that making sure the fireworks stands make money? Our Governor will be irresponsible if he doesn’t stop this all NOW — and don’t tell us how complicated it is Dow . . . just do it. Also catch the two men setting fires along major freeways & arterials. Local and state officials — do your job and protect the people of this state now.

  • carolina July 2, 2015 (4:49 pm)

    I think that we should not ban fireworks because to use its a tradition to do and you people think its the right thing but to me 4th of July is not going to be fun any more and to most people

  • ZTE July 3, 2015 (10:45 pm)

    Drought or no-drought, I think we should ban fireworks statewide. Unincorporated KC needs to join the ban and get the damn vendors OUT of the area completely. Is it such a mystery that we have a problem when I can drive 1 mile to White Center and load up and fireworks. Make it harder for people to get them! Yes, I know they can go to the reservations and buy them, but I don’t think a lot of people will make a special trip for that. Only the die-hard exploders will.

    Although a ban is worthless if it is not enforced.

    If people like to see a fireworks display, why can they go see a professional display? We did that in the town I grew up in and it worked quite well. Those displays were breathtaking and it gave me an appreciate for what the 4th signified. But here? I have never seen such mayhem in my life especially in West Seattle where it is supposed to be illegal.

    There’s nothing patriotic about this fireworks mania. It’s just an excuse people to show how thoughtless, and self-centered they are. And to grunt and say “Ugg, me make big noise, big light – me happy.”

    Do they care that people don’t like M-80s exploded in trash cans at 2:00am TWO WEEKS AFTER the 4th? No.

    Do they care that people have to drug their dogs or other animals who instinctively know “hey, something is wrong, I’m scared!” ? And there are probably people around who just can’t take shock of artillery being set off next door to them? Like people with nervous disorders or the elderly? No, doesn’t matter to them.

    It’s all good fun isn’t it? Yes, it’s a real celebration! Not really, it’s just a bunch of thugs running riot seeing how they can break stuff and don’t even have the decency to clean up the crap that they created.

    Seattle is what is it and laws mean very little around here. Freedom here is doing whatever you want (illegal or not) with little or no regard for your community or the pain you inflict on others. And this is made worse by the lack of enforcement.

    So, tell me, why have any laws at all?

    The biggest problem is that there are way too many thoughtless creatures who “like to blow stuff up real good”. Morons.

    That doesn’t mean that there aren’t decent people who want to set off fireworks with their kids of some friends and other family member. You’ll find them with a handful of bottle-rockets and sparklers and being thoughtful about their neighbors. I’m not sure it’s such a good message to teach the kids, setting of “some” fireworks is not as illegal as others. But laws aside, at least they are thoughtful. THANK YOU!

    But what happens when you allow brainless neanderthals to have access to explosives? Of course, West Seattle-ites know the answer to that question and I pity the people who live in the elsewhere (like the unincorporated areas or Skyway).

    I’ve never hated the 4th until I moved to Seattle. But what goes on around here is downright scary and dangerous and no one really seems to care. I know I’m the hater, but I’m just expressing my freedom, so deal with it.

    Like the passive people we are we just let the bullies step on us and don’t fight back; unless it touches one of out pet causes. Unfortunately, we can’t count on the police to help either.

    What a mess.

  • Glenn Wallace July 4, 2015 (8:45 am)

    King County Code 6.26.030 (F) allows for the King County executive to order a temporary ban if hazardous conditions exist. Unfortunately the politicians are scared of their shadows and will take no action. The fire marshal permit office claims this only pertains to permits (for sale and use) though no such language exists. Read the language below, it is plain English. Even if they are right, they refuse to ban fireworks sales even in these extreme conditions.

    Inaction reigns in King County!

    “In the event of drought or other fire hazard conditions that pose a threat to the public health, safety and welfare, the King County executive may, by executive order, declare an emergency and prohibit the sale or use of fireworks for that immediate year or until such conditions no longer exist. “

  • Tom July 4, 2015 (10:49 pm)

    Funny. Has anyone been watching Kiro wring their hands over the potential damage that fireworks can cause to people? Their 4th of July broadcast was a scream showing dummies (literal) getting their heads and arms blown off, taking a bottle rocket to the eye! I do feel bad for the young kid that sustained massive injuries though and that I take seriously. But the rest of the episode; piffle.

    It’s so typical of Seattle; that faux-caring thing. Interestingly, they didn’t mention much about the attempted ban due to weather conditions. So, it’s the 4th of July today, people know how dry it is and how we’ve been really, really advised not to set them off (oh, yeah, they’re illegal in Seattle, have you heard?). And this year is one of the rowdiest yet.

    When are we going to drive a stake through the heart of this ridiculous holiday? I mean, isn’t it celebrating violence (granted, past violence)?

    Let’s face the facts, people are not celebrating our freedom, they’re just setting off fireworks. Duh. So, let’s not make this excuse for pandemonium saintly by saying it’s about freedom.

    It’s about Bread and Circuses, fireworks vendors making a buck and people exercising their fun at the expense of others well-being. Seriously though, this is getting out-of-control.

    Has anyone seen this? This is why you don’t want crazies getting guns or fireworks! Sadly, I don’t think this occurrence is a rare as you might think.

    http://q13fox.com/2015/07/03/like-a-war-zone-west-seattle-neighbors-brace-for-fireworks-and-possible-fires/

    When will it end?

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