Recent hot weather, three-day weekend especially incendiary for fireworks, authorities warn

Dry conditions and the fact that this year’s Fourth of July falls on a Friday, the beginning of a three-day weekend, has fire officials issuing extra warnings to those who light their own fireworks.

“It’s been hot. It’s been dry. People don’t have to work the next day. We just want people to remember to remain safe,” Port Angeles Fire Marshal Ken Dubuc said.

East Jefferson Fire-Rescue Chief Chuck Boggs points out legal restrictions.

“Only safe and sane fireworks are allowed,” he said.

The “safe and sane” variety of fireworks Boggs is referring to are those approved by the state.

Those include novelty and smoke items, sparklers and spinners, multi aerials, helicopters, cones and fountains, wheels, roman candle and reloadable mortars of 1 ¾-inch or smaller.

The “jumping jack” fireworks, which spin and bounce, can be used in unincorporated Clallam County, but are prohibited within the Port Angeles city limit, Dubuc said.

Individual fireworks can be exploded only from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. on the Fourth of July in the Port Angeles city limit.

They can’t be used at all in the Port Townsend city limit, the only city on the North Olympic Peninsula to have banned them entirely.

“Other than the show at Fort Worden [State Park], there are no fireworks permitted whatsoever in the city limit,” Port Townsend Police Sergeant Ed Green said.

“Not even sparklers are allowed.”

Individual fireworks also are banned in the Olympic National Park, and all state and county parks.

Fireworks aren’t as restricted in the unincorporated areas of both Clallam and Jefferson counties, which are regulated by state law.

Fireworks can be discharged from 9 a.m. until 11 p.m. each day until Independence Day, when they may used from 9 a.m. to midnight. They also may be discharged from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday.

Some fireworks for sale on tribal lands — such as bottle rockets, firecrackers and explosives such as M-80s are illegal — across off those lands.

“By law, there are some fireworks that are not to be taken off reservations or used off the reservation,” Boggs said.

Fireworks purchased at stands not on reservations are all legal and can be used in most places, he said.

Green said that the penalty for breaking rules could range between a civil fine to a criminal offense, depending on the situation.

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