SPOKANE, Wash. - The 4th of July weekend is just about here. Of course, fireworks are unusually part of most people's celebration, and while Wednesday is the first day of fireworks sales, they are completely illegal in Spokane County.
The Spokane Valley Fire Department has confiscated a decent amount of fireworks over the years. If you plan on enjoying pyrotechnics this holiday, there are some things you should keep in mind.
The fireworks ban went into effect in the early 90's after first responders finally got through to local law makers that every 4th of July weekend was an absolute nightmare for them.
"For a five day, six day period, the department would triple or quadruple their run volume because of fires and we couldn't take care of the people that need us for medical emergencies," said Rick Freier, Spokane Valley Fire Department.
The ban is well established and most people know that fireworks aren't allowed in the unincorporated parts of Spokane County and most towns.
In places like Deer Park and Airway Heights, you can use some ground fireworks. But Freier said if you plan on using them, do so sober.
"Our Founding Fathers met in taverns to discuss the revolution. So the 4th of July comes with that. It's a celebration so alcohol is usually involved, but when you mix alcohol and fireworks, and alcohol and driving, those things are bad," he said.
Avoid letting young children light fireworks but if they do, keep a close eye on them. Keep a water source handy and have a fully charged cell phone or land line in case something goes wrong.
"Make sure you have an area that's away from combustible material like houses, grasses, that kind of thing," said Freier. "You want a clear space where you can use these things safely."
Breaking the fireworks ban in Spokane County will cost you more than $500 in fines and result in a misdemeanor charge.
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