OLYMPIA – The Fourth of July is nearly upon us and that typically means some injuries because of the illegal or careless use of fireworks. It is legal in Thurston County to sell fireworks only from June 28th through Noon on July 6th. It is legal to discharge fireworks only from 9 AM to 11 PM on July 3rd and 4th. Thurston County Medic One Director Steve Romines urges folks to be very careful to take precautions when using fireworks including-
- Using only "safe and sane" fireworks. In Washington State that means no bottle rockets, no firecrackers, no cherry bombs and no missiles.
- Having an adult present at all times that fireworks are being set off and not allowing young children to light the fireworks.
- Keeping a water source handy to deal with potential fires and to douse used fireworks to make sure they are out.
- Keeping a safe distance away from lit fireworks.
- Not holding or throwing fireworks after they are lit.
- Not re-lighting fireworks that did not go off the first time.
This year there is the added hazard of extremely dry conditions and the very real risk of fire. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports a drier than usual June has meant tinder dry conditions in grass and brush causing a very dangerous risk of wildfire from fireworks. The incendiary heat of most fireworks easily and quickly ignites flammable materials such as brush, grass, wood, paper, clothing or even the upholstery of automobiles.
Officials recommend that families leave the discharge of major fireworks to professionals at licensed public displays and to be extremely careful when using legal fireworks this holiday.
Again, in the unincorporated areas of Thurston County, it is legal to sell fireworks from June 28th through Noon on July 6th. It is legal to discharge fireworks ONLY from 9 AM to 11 PM on July 3rd and 4th.