Nearly a year after a stray 4th of July bottle rocket ignited a massive fire, destroying a Snoqualmie home with an estimated $700,000 in damage, threatened surrounding homes and injured one firefighter, the Snoqualmie Fire Department is hoping for an uneventful July 4th for 2015.
In response to last year’s fireworks-caused house fire, the City of Snoqualmie changed its fireworks ordinance in February, outlawing aerial fireworks within the city limits. That new ordinance, though, doesn’t go into effect until 2016, which means fireworks-loving residents have one last 4th of July to legally light the skies up over the tightly packed neighborhoods of Snoqualmie Ridge, something the community has become infamous for over the past decade.
In the meantime, that charred home on Fairway Ave SE still sits empty and heavily damaged, a daily reminder for nearby homeowners of what fireworks can do. There is no information currently available as to when the home will be repaired.
Via press release the City of Snoqualmie stated the Snoqualmie Police Department will be actively enforcing fireworks laws to “ensure a safer holiday for all citizens of the upper Snoqualmie Valley.”
To assist both the fire and police departments in their mission to promote safety, they are reminding citizens of local fireworks laws and recommending some practices to avoid fires and injuries this year.
Safety Measures to Avoid Injury and Property Damage
- Only discharge legal fireworks. For a full list of legal fireworks, click here.
- Adults should supervise the discharge of fireworks and children should never be allowed to light them
- If you use alcohol, save it for after the fireworks
- Teach children to “stop, drop, and roll” if their clothes catch on fire
- Consider pet safety and security on the 4th of July
- Keep a bucket of water for already discharged fireworks
- Keep a hose and fire extinguisher nearby to extinguish stray fireworks
- Discharge fireworks in a hazardous free area, for a distance of more than 30 feet on all sides of dry grass, brush, or debris of any nature
- Fireworks may only be discharged on July 4th from 9AM to 12AM (Midnight only.) (Fine: $124)
- No fireworks may be possessed or discharged in any public park. (Fine: $124)
- By state law, fireworks sales are limited to people age 16 and older.
- Use of illegal explosive devices can bring a fine of $5,000 and/or one year in prison.
Fireworks Purchased on Tribal Lands
Legal fireworks are available for purchase from state-licensed stands. Many illegal fireworks are legally for sale on tribal lands, but become illegal when taken off the tribal reservation. Illegal devices include fire crackers, bottle rockets, missiles, rockets, and M80s and larger.
Public Fireworks Displays
The closest public fireworks displays are the Great Carnation 4th of July Celebration at Tolt-McDonald Park and the Bellevue 4th of July at Bellevue Downtown Park. A full list of fireworks displays in King County is available on the Office of the State Fire Marshal website.