Edmonds Beacon - Your Hometown News Source

Fire District seeks countywide ban, again


For the 14th year in a row, the county’s largest fire district is again asking the Snohomish County Council to adopt a ban on the sale and discharge of fireworks in unincorporated areas, including Esperance.

South Snohomish County Fire and Rescue Commissioners month unanimously adopted a resolution in support of a countywide fireworks ban.

It presented the resolution at a County Council meeting June 27.

South County Fire serves more than 200,000 residents in Edmonds, Brier and Mountlake Terrace, as well as in unincorporated south Snohomish County. That includes unincorporated Esperance between 220th and 228th streets SW.

Those three cities ban personal fireworks at all times, but the discharge of fireworks is legal on July 4 in unincorporated areas, including Esperance. Fireworks also are banned in Everett, Gold Bar, Lynnwood, Marysville, Mill Creek, Mukilteo and Woodway.

Officers dispatched to fireworks complaints in Edmonds will investigate as call volume allows, Edmonds Police Sgt. Josh McClure said.

If they observe a violation, they have the discretion to educate the violator or enforce the Edmonds Municipal Code banning the possession, use and discharge of fireworks.

Fireworks may be confiscated and will then be brought to the police department, McClure said, where they are disposed of in a hazardous materials container.

Fireworks have been responsible for a total of more than $3.7 million in property loss in the South County Fire service area since 2005, displacing 15 households from homes and apartments.

“We know fireworks bans can effectively reduce injuries, property damage and call volumes. We’ve seen this firsthand in the cities we serve where bans are already in place,” Fire Chief Bruce Stedman said, adding that 911 call volumes more than double on July 4 in unincorporated south Snohomish County.

Two years ago, the County Council adopted an ordinance that allows citizens to petition for a neighborhood fireworks ban, but that has yet to occur.

The ban would apply only to private fireworks use and would still allow for professional displays.

“Those who think it wouldn’t be the Fourth of July without fireworks could attend a public display put on by trained professionals,” fire board chairman Jim Kenny said. “That’s the safest way to enjoy fireworks.”

The annual Chamber of Commerce-sponsored fireworks display at Civic Park in Edmonds starts at 10 p.m. July 4.


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