Joe McDermott, a member of the King County Council, has reintroduced legislation that would prohibit private fireworks in unincorporated King County. It will be discussed starting at 1 p.m. at the next regular King County Council meeting on April 27.
The ordinance 2021-0057, which would prohibit the selling and discharge of commercial fireworks in unincorporated King County, received a do-pass recommendation from the Council Committee of the Whole on March 27, kicking off the mandatory 30-day waiting period before being brought before the full council.
Those who want to speak up at the meeting on April 27 should call 1-253-215-8782. The meeting ID is 937 5868 5838, and the password is 232591. Instructions on how to attend the meeting and provide public comment can be found online at tinyurl.com/kdvr6sbu on the Council’s website.
McDermott has previously cited a deadly 2019 fire in White Center, which is bordered by Burien and Seattle, both of which forbid the purchase and use of fireworks without a permit, as one of the reasons for drafting his bill, as well as fears from islanders about wildfires caused by fireworks on Vashon as unseasonably dry summers set in each year.
On Vashon, the conversation about banning private fireworks has been heated, with people on both sides of the issue weighing in on social media and in the past about the legislation. The bill would apply to all types of fireworks including sparklers and other “safe” options. It would not prohibit legally allowed fireworks shows, nor would it have an effect on fireworks on tribal trust lands. Violations of the ban will be treated as misdemeanors, punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. Every day that an individual violated the law will be counted as a separate offense.
For more information about the ordinance, start here.
— Paul Rowley