Fire officials push firework safety after slew of wildfires
TRI-CITIES, Wash. -- After two wildfires broke out Sunday, officials are warning residents of how easily a fire can start in these hot conditions, especially with the fourth of July holiday right around the corner.
Fire leaders want to remind you of how to safely use fireworks, without putting others in fire danger.
"We want to make sure we always have adult supervision out there, have garden hoses in place, and buckets of water," said Fire Chief Bill Whealan of Benton County Fire District 4.
The Bonds family said they'll be extra careful, because a fire would ruin their day.
"If a firework went off and started a fire, I would be devastated because we really wouldn't be able to have Fourth of July," said Delton Bonds, a Kennewick resident.
That's why it makes them nervous.
"There's always people that are too relaxed with fireworks and don't really think about the danger they could cause to their homes and to people homes around them," added mother Angie Bonds.
West Richland Fire Department officials said on a normal day, they get three to four calls. Last July 4th, officials said they had 18.
"We had four separate starts all within five minutes of each other and that's a big deal because you've got resources going everywhere," added Chief Whealan.
Even though we had some rain this year, leaders said that doesn't mean fires are less likely.
"What that does is it kind of gives a kind of false security. We have taller brush and we have a week coming up now with 90 plus degree' temperatures. What that does is dries out the grasses really quickly and provides an even greater fire danger for us," added Whealan.
West Richland will even have volunteer firefighters on hand to beef up staffing so they're more prepared to handle the flames.
Fireworks hit shelves in Washington state starting Tuesday. Officials say if you do start an accidental fire, to call responders immediately.
Guidelines for using fireworks in Tri-Cities and Oregon:
- Pasco: Use of fireworks is prohibited in the city limits of Pasco. Violators could face penalties including fines. Pasco is having their Grand Old 4th of July 2016 celebration on Monday, July 4 according to the city. There will be a Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast, 7am, Memorial Park Camp Patriot Fun Run, 8am, Gesa Stadium Pre-Parade Street Dance, 9:15am, Memorial Park (on 14th Avenue) HAPO's Grand Old 4th Parade, 10am, Memorial Park (parade entry application here, due June 27) Cardboard Regatta, Noon, Memorial Pool Grand Old 4th Fireworks, 10pm, Gesa Stadium
- Connell has a ban on fireworks sales and use.
- Kennewick and Prosser both have an outright ban on fireworks sales and use.
- Richland: City allows use and sale of some fireworks in accordance with WA state. Fireworks used in Richland must be bought in Richland. If it flys, it dosent fly in Richland. Fireworks Allowed: June 28 noon - 11 pm, June 29 - July 3 from 9 am - 11pm, July 4 from 9 am - 12 am, July 5 from 9 am - 11pm. Fireworks cannot be used by anyone under 16.
- West Richland: Fireworks sales begin at noon, June 28th, in the City of West Richland. Here are a few reminders on the Municipal Code that covers the discharge of fireworks from West Richland Police Department:
1) Discharge of fireworks are permitted beginning July 2nd between the hours of 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. These are the same hours for July 3rd.
2) Discharge of fireworks on July 4th are permitted beginning at 6 p.m. and ending at midnight.
3) It is unlawful to discharge fireworks in City Parks.
4) It is unlawful to cause damage of property of another as a result of discharging or storing fireworks under you control.
5) Persons under 16 Y.O.A. must be accompanied by and adult (18 Y.O.A. or older).
6) Bottle rockets and firecrackers are not legal for discharge.
- Benton City: People are allowed to purchase fireworks following state law. People can set fireworks off from June 28th to July 3rd, 12 p.m. to 11 p.m. and July 4th, 9 a.m. to 12 a.m. midnight.
WALLA WALLA COUNTY
- College Place: The sale of fireworks is restricted to July 1st to July 3rd, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. and July 4th, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. People can set fireworks off from July 1st to July 3rd, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., July 4th, 9 a.m. to 12 a.m. midnight, and on July 5th, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.
- Waitsburg: No restrictions or bans.
- Walla Walla: People can buy fireworks from July 1st to July 3rd, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. and July 4th, 9 a.m. to 12 a.m. midnight and people can set fireworks off on July 4th, 9 a.m. to 12 a.m. midnight
Oregon only allows Oregonians to buy fireworks from places that have state-permitted licenses, and they should posted in an obvious way. Also, Oregon does not allow the use of fireworks that fly, explode, or travel more than six feet on the ground or more than 12 inches in the air. Many fireworks that can be bought in Washington cannot be used in Oregon.
Fireworks also are prohibited on all Oregon beaches, in state and federal parks, and in forests.
You can always contact local law enforcement as well to find out more about bans or restrictions on fireworks sales and/or the discharging of them
Click here to view the full list released by Washington State Patrol.