With Independence Day just around the corner, it’s time for the annual tradition of reminding Plateau residents of their local fireworks ordinances.
Starting in Enumclaw, the only time fireworks can be legally lit are between the hours of 9 a.m. and 11 p.m. on July 4.
Over in Black Diamond, fireworks are allowed to be lit from 9 a.m. to midnight on July 4, and no later.
Buckley’s municipal code is a little more lax than either other city, allowing fireworks to be lit from 9 a.m. on July 4 to 12:30 a.m. July 5.
And finally, in unincorporated King County, fireworks can be lit starting at 9 a.m. to midnight on July 4.
These windows of opportunities only apply to what city codes call “common” or “safe and sane” fireworks, which include, but are not limited to, ground or handheld sparklers, ground-based fountains, wheels or ground spinners, and various smoke devices, as well as some aerial fireworks like helicopters, spinners, Roman candles, and mines and shells.
Other kinds of fireworks, known as “special” or “display” fireworks, which include firecrackers, bottle rockets, and salutes, are banned from being lit at any time.
Penalties for violating these various ordinances vary by city: in Enumclaw, Buckley, and unincorporated King County, violations are considered a misdemeanor and can lead to a maximum $1,000 fine and a possible 90 day sentence, while in Black Diamond, it can lead to a lighter $500 fine, but a longer potential 180 day sentence.
However, unincorporated King County residents can also be given a civil penalty in lieu of a misdemeanor, which could lead to a $250 fine for each violation. While a civil penalty can be less severe than a misdemeanor, the burden of proof is also less, making it easier for law officials to cite someone.
According to the Washington State Patrol, there were 301 firework-related incidents reported by various hospitals and fire agencies around the state: 209 were injuries (88 of which were caused by holding fireworks while they were lit), and 92 were fires.
FIREWORK SHOWS AND OTHER EVENTS
The Lake Sawyer Community Club in Black Diamond is again hosting several informal events around and on Independence Day.
Starting June 29, there will be a fun run/walk/bike event around Lake Sawer starting at the Community Club House. The event is free and no registration is required — just show up at 10 a.m.
Then on July 4, an all-day fishing derby will be held, with categories for kids 13 and under and young adults 14 and older. The weigh-in station is at Dock 200, and prizes will be given out for gift certificates at the Lake Sawyer Community Club store.
There will also be an informal kayak, paddle board, and canoe race around the island across from the Sunrise Island Resort. This is event is also free and requires no registration — bring your life jacket and racing transport of choice and show up in front of the resort to begin the race at 3:30 p.m.
Finally is the firework show, slated to begin just after 10 p.m. when it gets dark. According to Lake Sawyer Community Club President Lauren Landis, the best places to view the show is at the boat launch park or at the Lake Sawyer Regional Park.
Tapps Island will also be putting on a show — the community club’s General Manager John Clark said the 2018 show was their biggest yet and, based on the donations that have already come in this year, the 2019 show is expected to be even more grand.
The show will start shortly after 10 p.m.
The Tapps Island show is funded solely through donations. To donate to the show, call 253-862-6166 for a credit card donation, or send a check made out to the Lake Tapps Fireworks Fund to 20818 Island Park Way East, Lake Tapps, WA 98391. According to Clark, 100 percent of donations go toward putting on the show.
Over in Enumcalw, the annual Fourth of July parade will be making its way downtown along Cole Street, starting at noon.
Until 2017, Enumclaw’s Chamber of Commerce held a fireworks show, but it has since been canceled due to there being bald eagle hatchlings in the area.