FOURTH OF JULY: First pre-holiday week without fireworks stands in neighboring North Highline

With one week to go until the Fourth of July, in past years this is when fireworks sales started in White Center and the rest of unincorporated North Highline, just south of West Seattle. Not this year. The fireworks ban in unincorporated King County has taken effect. If you’re outside the city limits – as published previously on our partner site White Center Now, here’s how the complaint/enforcement process will work:

With this year being the first that fireworks aren’t permitted, King County is emphasizing community education about the new rules and is deferring issuing citations for a year. However, that doesn’t mean folks will be able to light fireworks without repercussion. As of June 14th, residents have been able to report violators to the King County Permitting Division:

-Online by visiting (Users will have to sign up for our system)

-Phone: 206-848-0800

King County will issue a warning to violators and include them in our records. If the behavior continues, these violators will likely be the first to eventually receive citations. Local Services is finalizing the details of how violators will be cited beginning in 2023.

Fireworks of course have long since been banned from sale and use on both sides of North Highline, in Seattle and Burien

22 Replies to "FOURTH OF JULY: First pre-holiday week without fireworks stands in neighboring North Highline"

  • Jeepney June 27, 2022 (7:54 pm)

    Nice!  I am also praying for heavy rain July 2, 3 and 4.

  • DH June 27, 2022 (8:21 pm)

    I wish Seattle would do something like this. It’s like they have never even tried in the 25ish years I’ve been here. 

  • Watertowerjim June 27, 2022 (8:27 pm)

    Happy Independence Day!

  • Scott June 27, 2022 (8:39 pm)

    Deferring citations that’s funny. It has been illegal for years in Seattle and that has not stop alot of people. The only way to stop it is have enough police driving the streets and Issuing tickets, but we all know that there isn’t enough police for that. 

    • Another One June 28, 2022 (3:45 pm)

      The police don’t even stop and give someone a citation. You can watch them drive right by.

    • ACinWC July 3, 2022 (1:31 pm)

      I said this in a comment below too, but just FYI…

      It’s a code enforcement issue, handled by King County Local Services Permitting Division, not a law enforcement issue that would be handled by the police or sheriff department. (Even though King County’s own fireworks reporting website implies you’re reporting to the sheriff.)

      It would be like calling 911 to report unpermitted construction, neighbors having junk cars, or home businesses in property not zoned for them.

      Beyond that, the online fireworks reporting system doesn’t even function properly and DLS code enforcement officers aren’t planning to issue citations until next year. Last April’s legislation is still pretty meaningless other than deterring sales of fireworks this year… and they’re still easy to get if you’re willing to drive a little farther. 

  • they June 28, 2022 (4:41 am)

    Pretty please with sugar on top…

  • KT June 28, 2022 (6:00 am)

    I have noticed a lot less fireworks so far this year.  Usually it starts two weeks before the 4th here in unincorporated King County.  Helps that there is no fireworks stand by on 28th.  And maybe the high price of gas is keeping people from driving out to the Mukleshoot stand to get fireworks.Have only heard three loud booms in the last week.  A vast improvement!Kudos for the Council for finally passing this ordinance.

  • Jim June 28, 2022 (8:42 am)

    Nanny state at it’s finest 

    • CarDriver June 28, 2022 (4:35 pm)

      Jim. If irresponsible people were held accountable for their actions there would be no need for a “nanny state” Have you held any illegal/irresponsible fireworks user accountable????

    • Scubafrog June 28, 2022 (7:01 pm)

      Oh, Jim. Statements like that only lead to FACT:  Your mega-govt gop is the epitome of thee nanny govt, with the male-led GOP/scotus eagerly trying to dictate to women what they can and can’t do with their bodies via the end of Roe, and now with Contraception.  But banning fireworks!… *clutching pearls*, the sky is falling!

  • anonyme June 28, 2022 (9:52 am)

    Is the complaint line open to all King County residents, or only unincorporated areas?  SPD not only does nothing about fireworks but scolds those who dare to complain.  I am keeping my fingers crossed that the countywide ban will help. It does seem like there’s been fewer big bangs so far, except for cars driving by and throwing M-80’s out the window.  Meanwhile, I’m preparing to cover my vegetable patch, etc., as protection against the highly carcinogenic fallout that dusts our entire region each year.

    • WSB June 28, 2022 (11:04 am)

      This is specifically for unincorporated area fireworks (which you might well hear/see from AH) – we have some readers outside the city limits so I published this for their sake as well as out of general interest. Here a bit further north in south West Seattle we’ve noticed fewer fireworks, so far (I’m up late with at least one open window so in a unique position to hear it all); will see what the next week brings, or doesn’t brings.

      • ACinWC July 3, 2022 (12:41 pm)

        I was curious to see how the online reporting system worked—mainly because I wanted to see what possible information they’re requesting to which you might even have access. For example, last night at 3am a series of fireworks were set off. If I’m inside my house (pretty typical for 3am…) how am I supposed to know and report any useful info? Even if it was a close neighbor I might not know which one. (To be clear I’m not interested in reporting fireworks even if my dog might appreciate it.)

        So again, to satisfy my curiosity, I went to the website and under the heading “report to sheriff” I clicked the big button for reporting fireworks, and created an account. Once logged in, it took me to an “Ask a question [for the DLS Permit team]” page (not the sheriff’s dept like the King County website implies, or even to code enforcement) where the menu doesn’t work, clicking “Home” brings up a search bar, and searching “fireworks” yields no results… pretty useless.

        So I called the hotline to see if that was any clearer about what info you were supposed to report… A recording encourages you to use the website, and if you can’t, to send an email to code enforcement or leave a voicemail, but that “officers will take enforcement actions only in emergencies.” Which sort of makes no sense, because if it’s a fireworks related emergency, I’m going to go ahead and call 911 anyway, not send an email or leave a voicemail or even report it online (even if the website was actually functional). 

        What a joke. 

        I suppose the one thing it might accomplish is to occupy the busybodies and Karens to hopefully keep them from calling 911 for general code enforcement, and it might even draw the focus of their complaints onto the futility of the reporting system and forget the fireworks. 

        PS – Hope everyone stays safe this weekend! 

    • Scubafrog June 28, 2022 (1:45 pm)

      It’s not fair to attack the SPD for the 4th.  The 4th is bedlam, and they’re trying to maintain a semblance of order.  Especially now, in the small numbers they have left.  After the majority of the city’s torn them asunder, treated them worse than stray dogs, and let the council and last two mayors proverbially micturate on them.  The remaining SPD – IF they stay, are true heroes and heroines, with the patience of Saints. One might even find a way to give them some praise, while the new mayor drags heels on replenishing their overworked, tired and demoralised numbers.

      • anonyme June 29, 2022 (8:45 am)

        Scuba, cops have never enforced fireworks laws in my experience.  It has little or nothing to do with staffing.  I bought my house in 2005 and was horrified at the number of fireworks in the area that first year, and ever since.  Across from me, someone set up a rocket-launching pad in the middle of the street.  I watched as a cop carefully maneuvered around the blockage (even going up on the curb a little) gave the law-breaker a wave and a nod, and then continued on his merry way.  Not even a warning; more like a thumbs-up, even though the mess was also blocking the right-of-way. I did have a cop show up once in response to a fireworks call, but that was after another neighbor set the alley on fire.  Cops may be overstretched now, but that has nothing to do with the lackadaisical attitude toward fireworks.

      • ACinWC July 3, 2022 (1:10 pm)

        Scuba, I laughed at “true heroes and heroines.” Are we talking about the same Seattle Police Department that has been under a consent decree for excessive use of force for TEN YEARS? And even last year was reported to still be demonstrating serious racial disparities in both stopping/questioning citizens and using excessive force against suspects? 

        anonyme is right though, SPD staffing issues are not the reason for lack of response to fireworks. It’s a code enforcement issue, handled by King County Local Services Permitting Division, not a law enforcement issue that would be handled by the police or sheriff department. (Even though King County’s own fireworks reporting website implies you’re reporting to the sheriff.)

        It would be like calling 911 to report unpermitted construction, neighbors having junk cars, or home businesses in property not zoned for them. 

  • K June 28, 2022 (10:06 am)

    I just like to do sparklers, colored smoke bombs, and those little growing snakes things with the kids- little things that stay on the ground and don’t make noise.  I wish those could be legal so we could have some special fun for the 4th that still doesn’t harm anyone.  

  • Grateful June 28, 2022 (10:04 pm)

    Sanity finally prevails!  The creatures and sensitive humans are grateful.  As are our dedicated firefighters – and parents whose kids’ fingers may stay intact this year.

  • Apotheosis June 29, 2022 (4:22 pm)

    Excited to have fewer bombs going off in the neighborhood. Is there a good park in WS to watch the Lake Union fireworks from?

    • WSB June 29, 2022 (4:25 pm)

      Hamilton Viewpoint, Admiral Way Viewpoint, Don Armeni, almost anything facing north/northeast.

  • Riomama July 1, 2022 (4:39 am)

    Just tried to report via the link provided, but the page does not work correctly. It leads to a page for asking about permits. Submitted to KC customer service. 

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