Fireworks: Last Chance Before Change

Nothing goes together quite like fireworks and the 4th of July. As you prepare your festivities, be sure to check the regulations in your area.

Washington state law (RCW 70.77.395) limits the sale and use of fireworks to a set period of time over both the 4th of July and New Year’s holidays. However, many cities and counties throughout the state have shortened the hours available or banned consumer fireworks completely. Currently, of the 314 cities/towns listed by the Washington state patrol, 99 have banned fireworks, 100 have modified ordinances, and 115 follow state law. Be sure to check the full list (http://www.wsp.wa.gov/fireworks/) before lighting off fireworks in your area this year.

Deer Park is one of the areas in Washington State that still allows the use of fireworks, which became a topic for debate within the city council this past year. Some in Deer Park wanted fireworks banned, while at the same time a group of residents worked to protect their privilege/right to use fireworks and educate the public on the issue. As a result, the city council had two proposed ordinances; 2018-980 (changing the hours available for the use of fireworks) and 2018-979 (banning fireworks). Both ordinances were on the council’s agenda for November 18, 2018. Following a discussion with public attendees in regards to the proposals, the city council elected to waive their standard three reading process with a 4-1 vote (Schut opposing) in order to speed up the vote on the issue. The city council voted 4-1 (with Schut opposing) to approve changes to fireworks usage in Deer Park effective in 2020.

2019 Fireworks

The recently passed ordinance will not go into effect until November 2019, one year after the ordinance was approved. So consumer firework use over the 4th of July holiday in this year in Deer Park will follow the guidelines set out by Washington State. Also, the new rules allowing fireworks for New Year’s will be in effect for this year’s celebration

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