Fireworks are legal in unincorporated Snohomish County

Monday, June 29, 2015

By Diane Hettrick

Fireworks are legal in unincorporated Snohomish County, but that's the only place for miles around.

Every city and town around us has banned fireworks. Don't even think about it. Shoreline, Kenmore, Edmonds, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood, Seattle, Everett. Lake Forest Park even put up signs at the city limits.

There are some good reasons - here are a few:

Setting the house on fire
What was the name of that legal firework that spins in crazy spirals and lands up to 25 feet away from where it started? I watched one land in the middle of a hedge. If they land on roofs they can smolder for hours until they set your roof on fire.

Conditions are drier than they have been for years. Easy to set the lawn on fire.

Veterans with PTSD
There's a lot of talk about honoring veterans for their service. One of the most practical ways would be not to kick in their PTSD with explosives.

Most dogs are terrified of the sounds made by fireworks. At best, they will cower under the bed. At worst, they have to be medicated and I'm told that some are still traumatized. Many try to run away from the sound and get lost or hit by a car.

It's better these days, but I remember years when I couldn't get out of my neighborhood without running over piles of debris from fireworks. Even if people tried to clean up, they couldn't see everything in the dark. There were always pointy pieces of metal in the debris, which I'm sure didn't do my tires any good.

There are always the stories every year about guys lighting fireworks in cars and throwing them out of the windows - until they fumble one and blow off a few fingers. And the people who go to check why the firework didn't go off and find out it was just delayed a little. Oops.

Sky Lanterns
Don't even think about Sky Lanterns. So lovely to see them floating away and not so lovely when fire falls from the sky.

Rules in Unincorporated Snohomish County
Even where it's legal, there are a lot of limitations. Not on school or church property. Not on any private property. Not in parks, or city streets. Doesn't leave much.

Citizens have been petitioning the County Council to make the ban county-wide - or at least in unincorporated Sno County. So far, the County seems to be ignoring them.


Anonymous,  June 30, 2015 at 5:14 AM  

It doesn't mean anything if our police don't enforce the rule. Each year, there is a mini Gasworks park fireworks show from my neighbors that rains down on our house and scares the animals. In the past, our police dept. has told us that they don't have the resources to send out patrols. I wish people would just follow the rules.

Anonymous,  June 30, 2015 at 5:14 PM  

I'm actually quite a fan of fireworks and think they shouldn't be so extensively banned - but I would ask that people refrain this year since we are all living in one big tinderbox. It's only the end of June and I think we've already had more hot, dry weather than we usually see in August!

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