North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

Fireworks ban now in effect in Marysville

Fireworks are illegal in Marysville, but Arlington and unincorporated Snohomish County residents can discharge fireworks

 

Photo courtesy of the Marysville Fire District

Fireworks were the suspected cause of this residential storage shed fire on Marine Drive NE on July 4, 2016. Property loss was estimated at $4,500.

This is the first year that Marysville's fireworks ban will be in place, but even those who reside in Arlington or in unincorporated Snohomish County should know the laws around discharging fireworks for this Fourth of July.

Marysville

The fireworks ban approved by the Marysville City Council took effect in 2017 and this is the first year that fireworks are banned in the City of Marysville. That decision came after years of citizen complaints to the City Council.

It is now against the law to discharge or sell fireworks within Marysville's city limits.

Marysville will join several other Snohomish County cities in banning fireworks, including Everett, Lake Stevens, Lynnwood and others.

"City leaders, and our elected officials, had heard many complaints around the Fourth of July," said Marysville's communications officer Connie Mennie. "Literally hundreds of people who were concerned about the noise and potential damage to property, and others concerned about children and pets, voiced their complaints," she said.

The council decided to hold an advisory vote in 2015. With more than 10,000 voters casting their ballot the results showed 59 percent in favor of the ban.

"The City Council responded to the desire of the majority of voters," said Mennie, and they passed an ordinance early in 2016 to ban fireworks from the city, although they had to wait a year before it could be in effect.

City officials are currently trying to get the word out for the new fireworks policy with a "fairly aggressive information campaign."

Increased police presence is already planned for the day, and Mennie said that police plan to issue fines. "There won't be warnings. Citations will be issued," Mennie said.

The minimum fine for fireworks is $103.

Christie Veley, Marysville Fire District public education and information specialist, said that the district has averaged about a dozen fireworks incidents each year.

"Many people may remember the house that burned because of fireworks in the Cedarcrest area in 2009. Possibly just one firework did half a million dollars in damage," Veley said.

"Even when people try to be responsible with fireworks, you have to remember that these are explosives and they can still do a lot of damage. Last year, we had an 11-year-old boy in Marysville who burned his face while just leaning over fireworks," she said.

Sparklers burn at 1,200 degrees and account for more than 60 percent of fireworks injuries for children age 4 or younger, although most people think they are harmless, according to Veley.

"We really want people to have fun this July 4, and we want you to do that safely. So leave the fireworks to the professionals and go see one of the free public shows in our area," said Veley.

The fire district also has a page for fireworks at marysvillefiredistrict.org/fireworks that gives a map of the local fireworks laws.

"Some people have a Marysville address but don't necessarily live in the city limits," said Mennie, so they would not be affected by the City of Marysville's ban.

Arlington

Fireworks in Arlington can be discharged on July 4 from 9 a.m. to midnight and they can be purchased from June 28 to July 4.

Arlington Fire Department Captain Dave Kraski said they get less than 10 calls each year for fireworks-related incidents.

The biggest problem is fireworks that are not safe, he said.

"We live so close to the reservation, and so everyone has access to the more dangerous fireworks," he said. "The safe and sane fireworks are not the problem."

The more dangerous explosive fireworks are the ones that will get the police department called and are often involved in emergency incidents, said Kraski.

"So I would recommend buying the safe and sane fireworks, although I know not everyone is going to do that," he said.

"Safe and sane" fireworks are labeled as such.

He recommends children always have adult supervision, and all those who are shooting off fireworks to do so carefully.

Unincorporated Snohomish County

Areas outside of city limits can use fireworks on July 4 from 9 a.m. to 11:59 p.m.

It is always illegal to shoot fireworks in a Washington State Park or a Snohomish County Park, and the more dangerous items like M-80s, firecrackers and rockets remain illegal.

More information is on the county's website at snohomishcountywa.gov/290/Fireworks.

 

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