Lighting off fireworks this year? Here’s where it’s legal

Unincirporated King County has banned fireworks, but Black Diamond, Enumclaw, and Buckley allow them during certain hours on Independence Day.

Independence Day is this Monday, and that means sizzling, crackling, exploding fireworks are in store for many of us — love them or hate them.

Many cities and organizations will hold professional firework displays, such as Ten Trails’ “Red, White & BOOM!” event on Saturday, July 2, which culminates at 10 p.m. with a fireworks show.

But for private citizens who want to set off fireworks, the law is a bit of a mosaic. King County’s ban on consumer fireworks in unincorporated areas kicks in this year, but there’s no such ban in unincorporated Pierce County. Meanwhile, every city or town has its own specific rules on when and what days you’re allowed to set them off.

“Be aware of what the local ordinances are where you live, because it’s so different depending on what city or town you’re in, and whether you’re in unincorporated King or Pierce county,” Buckley Fire Chief Eric Skogen said.

Safety and common sense are also paramount when using fireworks.

Here are recommendations from fire officials at the Enumclaw, Buckley and Mountain View fire departments:

• Use safe and legal fireworks only; bottle rockets, firecrackers and missiles are illegal to buy, sell or discharge under state law. (They are, however, legal to buy, sell and discharge on tribal lands.) An easy way to stay within the law is to just buy fireworks from within the city or other area you’re planning to launch them in.

• Have a responsible adult oversee the process.

• Know your surroundings — light fireworks far away from grass, brush or other fuels that can easily ignite.

• Keep a source of water nearby.

• Fireworks are explosive incendiary devices. Don’t aim them at anyone — or anything — you wouldn’t mind blowing up.

• Launch fireworks from a solid, flat surface and get away from them after you light them off.

• Pick up the debris from your fireworks and soak them in a bucket of water, preferably overnight. They can smolder and reignite if tossed directly into the trash.

• If you see someone using fireworks illegally, don’t call 911 unless there’s an emergency, a fire, or someone is injured. Look up your local non-emergency line instead to report those incidents. In unincorporated King County, the number for reporting fireworks violations is 206-848-0800.

This year, King County will only be issuing warnings for most fireworks violations, according to John Taylor, the director of the county’s Local Services Department. Citations will be handed out for violations beginning in 2023, although the county hasn’t finalized what that will look like.

For Independence Day 2022, here are the rules on fireworks in the Plateau area. (A searchable map is included in this story online.)

City, county and state parks: Banned.

Unincorporated King County: Banned.

Enumclaw: Legal from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. on July 4.

Black Diamond: Legal from 9 a.m. to midnight on July 4.

Unincorporated Pierce County: Legal from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. on July 1, 2 and 3 and from 10 a.m. to midnight on July 4. (If Independence Day had fallen on a Sunday, fireworks would also be allowed from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. on July 5.)

Crystal Mountain: Banned.

Bonney Lake: Legal from 9 a.m. to midnight on July 4.

Buckley: Legal from 9 a.m. to midnight on July 4.

Carbonado: Legal from Legal from 9 a.m. to midnight on July 3, 4 and 5.

Wilkeson: Legal from noon to 11 p.m. on June 28, from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. from June 29 through July 3, from 9 a.m. to midnight on July 4 and from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. on July 5.