Fourth of July is coming; know your local firework rules

Consider this your 2017 guide to fireworks: what’s legal, what isn’t, and where larger firework shows can be watched.

Independence Day — a chance to light the grill, crack open a cold one and, of course, fire off some light pyrotechnics in the back yard.

Of course, depending on where you live, you may run into different laws regarding fireworks, as well as different opportunities to enjoy community or city-sponsored light shows.

Consider this your 2017 guide to fireworks: what’s legal, what isn’t, and where larger firework shows can be watched.

BONNEY LAKE

Back in 2015, Bonney Lake residents petitioned the city to ban fireworks back, the latest attempt of many.

However, instead of banning fireworks, the City Council approved new ordinances that limited firework use. Some of them went into effect by July 2016, but others only came into effect in February of this year.

Since before the 2015 ordinances were signed, only “safe and sane” or “consumer” fireworks could be lit inside city limits.

According to the Washington State Patrol, “safe and sane” fireworks include sparklers, fountains, ground spinners, roman candles, mines or shells, smoke devices and others.

Fireworks that are illegal to buy, possess or sell in the state include any kind of rockets, chasers and fire crackers.

Starting this year, there are only two times when fireworks can be lit in Bonney Lake: July 4th, from 9 a.m. to midnight, and December 31st at 6 p.m. to January 1 at 1 a.m.

This is a change from last year, when residents were allowed to light off fireworks between July 3 and July 5.

Being caught lighting off fireworks outside the legal time frame, or firing illegal fireworks, can be punishable with a class 1 civil infraction, which can result in a $550 ticket.

This was changed from a misdemeanor in 2015.

While a misdemeanor is a more serious crime, the burden of proof for a class 1 civil infraction is less, meaning it is easier for police to write tickets.

Officers still have the ability to issue misdemeanors for more serious firework violations.

OTHER CITIES

Black Diamond, Enumclaw, Buckley, and Sumner have differing times for when consumer fireworks can be used inside city limits.

Buckley allows fireworks from July 2 to July 3 from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., July 4 from 9 a.m. to midnight, and July 5 from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Black Diamond and Enumclaw only allow fireworks on the 4th from 9 a.m. to midnight.

Sumner only allows fireworks from noon to midnight on July 4.

PARADES AND FIREWORK SHOWS

There will be two firework shows on the Plateau this year — one over Lake Tapps, and the other on Lake Sawyer.

The annual show over Lake Tapps is hosted by the Tapps Island Association and put on by Pyro Spectaculars , the same pyrotechnic team that does fireworks for the Mariners.

“We’re on a good clip to do a really nice show this year,” said Tapps Island General Manager John Clark, adding that increased donations for the show has helped it grow over the past couple years.

The show is scheduled to start around 10 p.m.

The show has already been paid for by the association, but donations can be made for future shows by calling 253-862-6616.

The show over Lake Sawyer is hosted by the Lake Sawyer Community Club, and is also scheduled to being around 10 p.m.

The annual firework show in Enumclaw will not be held this year.

According to Enumclaw Mayor Liz Reynolds, the Chamber of Commerce’s annual firework show is being cancelled because of local bald eagles.

“We are a plateau that is rich with eagle nests,” Reynolds said during the June 12 City Council meeting, explaining that it is illegal to discharge fireworks within one mile of hatchlings. Violating the rules, she said, brings “a considerable fine” of around $10,000.

Enumclaw will still be hosting the Chamber’s Stars and Stripes parade at noon on the 4th.

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