Fireworks sales start; banned in Port Townsend

PORT TOWNSEND — Consumer fireworks for the Fourth of July can be sold in Washington state beginning today.

Sales will run from noon to 11 p.m. today, from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday through Thursday — which is the Fourth of July — and from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. next Friday.

The specific times that consumer fireworks can be discharged in the unincorporated area of Jefferson County is from noon to 11 p.m. today, from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday through Wednesday, from 9 a.m. to midnight Thursday and from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. next Friday.

Consumer fireworks are banned in Port Townsend. This includes the sale and use of them, according to Port Townsend Police Sergeant Troy Surber.

The Port Townsend Police Department investigates a varying amount of fireworks-related calls each year.

“It all depends on call load and prioritizing,” Surber said.

“In one day we can have 10 calls about people lighting off large or small fireworks and then the next day we may not have any.

“So basically it’s to essentially make contact with the people using [fireworks] and confiscate them if they’re violating the law. We can issue tickets or not.”

The ban came about because of many small fires and injuries caused by people using fireworks, Surber said.

Within the rest of Jefferson County, the regulations fall squarely under the Washington State fireworks ordinances, according to Jefferson County Fire Marshal Brian Tracer.

Under these regulations, the only legal fireworks that the public can use are cylindrical fountain, helicopter/aerial spinners, cone fountains, smoke devices, roman candles, parachutes, wheels, mines/shells/cakes, ground spinners, reloadable mortars, dipped stick, sparklers and novelties.

On Native American land, firecrackers, sky rockets/missiles and bottle rockets are legal to buy and use, but they are illegal in other parts of the state.

“Just because you can buy it doesn’t mean it’s legal to use fireworks,” Surber said regarding the Native stands.

M-80s, M-100s, improvised explosive devices and altered fireworks are all illegal to use within all of Washington.

The full list and description of other firework types can be found at tinyurl.com/WAFireworkRegulations.

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Jefferson County reporter Zachary Jablonski can be reached at [email protected].

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