Thurston County is having a very wet and cool spring, so it may seem odd that this year,
the discharge of fireworks could be banned
in the county like it was in 2021. However, that is the situation. Lots of rain means lots of growth, and if the rain stops and our weather heats up like it did last summer, the county may need to implement a ban on the discharge of fireworks in unincorporated Thurston County.
In 2021, extensive rainfall in early June led to a large amount of growth in grass, brush, and vegetation. Because of lack of precipitation and record setting high temperatures, that growth became very dry, creating a large fuel source for fires leading to prime conditions to implement the ban. With the rainfall we've experienced this spring, conditions could be similar.
Thurston County Code 6.68.057 gives the county manager the authority to prohibit the discharge of consumer fireworks during periods of extreme fire danger. The decision must be made one full day before the first day fireworks sales are allowed. This year the latest the decision to ban the discharge of fireworks would need to happen by Tuesday, June 28. Prior to making this decision, the county manager consults with the Thurston County Fire Marshal, and the Emergency Services Director, who will have researched all relevant weather model forecasts from the National Weather Service, as well as consider all relevant fire safety decisions made by the state Department of Natural Resources and local fire districts.
Joshua Cummings, Director of Community Planning and Economic Development and the Thurston County Fire Marshal, said "The decision to ban the discharge of fireworks last summer was made to increase the safety for life and property of residents, and in support of our first responders."
It is important to note, no decision has been made and it is much too early to make any recommendation at this time. If a fireworks ban is implemented this year, that doesn't mean we can't celebrate. There will be permitted fireworks displays and celebrations happening around the county.
And if that isn't for you, there's other fun ways to celebrate as well. We shared five ways to celebrate Independence Day without fireworks
in this story last year. However you choose to celebrate Independence Day this year, please stay safe!