Several Vashon residents have created a committee and a petition to ban personal fireworks on the island. The members include Ron Smothermon, Yvonne Kuperburg, Nicole Thomas Douthit, Diana Louise and Angie Meier.
“I think we’re close to 700 signatures between the online petition and the paper petitions. We’re still collecting signatures until mid-July,” stated Meier. “We also have the backing of King County Councilmember Joe McDermott, Vashon Fire and Rescue Chief Charlie Krimmert and the Fire Commissioners.”
The petition reads:
We ask that the King County Commissioners and Fire Marshall, that consumer-grade fireworks shall not be sold, ignited, exploded or discharged on Vashon-Maury Island due to the increased danger of wildfires.
Our island has very limited firefighting resources. Help from mutual aid from the mainland is limited by ferries and Vashon is isolated from evacuation routes. The increased use of fireworks beyond the legal days and times set forth, along with the increase in use of ever more explosive illegal fireworks brought onto the island makes the danger of wildfire exponentially larger.
We support a professional public fireworks show so long as it is put on by a licensed pyrotechnic operator with the proper King County permits in place.
Action Petitioned For: We the undersigned are concerned citizens who urge our leaders to act now to ban personal fireworks on Vashon-Maury Island for the 2020 4th of July holiday in continuum.
Meier and Kuperburg had a scheduled phone meeting with McDermott last week. McDermott said it’s possible to do a Vashon-only ban and not have to try to get it countywide, which would be more difficult. There have been other Vashon-only considerations that have been passed previously.
McDermott also discussed the possibility of the Washington State Patrol stepping up vehicle inspections with dogs to catch some of the explosives coming on the island from the reservations. McDermott said he would contact Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht to find out what the plan was to address fireworks issue.
In response to the petition, Vashon resident Tom Carr started another petition to McDermott which reads:
We ask that the King County Commissioners and Fire Marshall acknowledge that single issue petitions do not capture the view of people who do not support it.
Action Petitioned For: We the undersigned are concerned citizens who urge our leaders to do nothing.
As of press time, the petition has received 179 votes.