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WCFD7 firefighter puts water on a vegetation fire reportedly started by fireworks in Ferndale (July 4, 2015). Photo courtesy of a Whatcom News reader.

Whatcom Executive urges consumer fireworks restraint due to fire danger this year

fire started by a single fireworks in vacant lot at ariel ct 2016-07-03 2300
Outdoor fire started by a single firework in a Ferndale vacant lot (July 3, 2016). Photo: Whatcom News

WHATCOM COUNTY, Wash. — Whatcom County Executive Satpal Sidhu issued a press release today, June 30th, asking all citizens to refrain from consumer fireworks displays this year over the 4th of July weekend.

The recommendation comes after Stage 1 burn ban conditions was achieved followed by 3 days of record-setting 100+ degree high temperatures and no expectation of precipitation in the forecast.

Below is the entirety of the press release.

Due to the severely dry conditions and lack of precipitation, Whatcom County Executive Satpal Sidhu in conjunction with the Whatcom County Fire Marshal and Sheriff Bill Elfo, is urging the public to refrain from consumer fireworks displays this year over the holiday weekend. Very dry conditions and continued high temperatures are a severe concern. Dry vegetation is one of the main fuel sources of fires.

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It is highly recommended and requested of all citizens that personal fireworks displays be avoided or kept to one day only, one event duration for shorter periods of time, for instance only on July 4. Aside from the impact to people and pets, this year presents an even greater danger as noted above.

“For the safety of life and property of residents, and in support of our first responders, I am asking County residents to please forego personal fireworks displays this year. We recognize that the national Fourth of July holiday is a celebration of freedom and liberty in the United States, and that displays of fireworks are an expression of that, however, there are many public commercial displays planned, and it would be extremely prudent for all of us to take advantage of those as our means of enjoyment of fireworks this year rather than endangering each other, our neighbors and friends and property. If you do decide to use fireworks please, please ensure you are following every possible safety precaution, limit the number and duration of your events and please do everything you can to be safe this Independence Day”, says County Executive Satpal Sidhu.

County service information for the Fourth of July weekend:

• Fire and Police Emergency Services: Call 9-1-1 for emergency police, fire, and EMS services. Residents are urged to use 9-1-1 for life-threatening emergencies only. This includes if residents see evidence of a wildfire.
• Whatcom County Sheriff Non-Emergency Services: Residents of unincorporated Whatcom County may call the Sheriff’s Office non-emergency number at 360-676-6911 for noise and illegal fireworks complaints. 9-1-1 should be used for life-threatening emergencies only.

Whatcom County Fire Marshal’s Office issued a reminder last week that any possession or use of illegal fireworks can result in both civil and criminal penalties, including the cost of the fire district crews extinguishing any fire caused by fireworks.

Whatcom County only allows consumer fireworks to be discharged during the following dates and times in unincorporated areas. Check with your city for their dates and hours.

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  • July 3rd: 6pm until 11pm
  • July 4th: 6pm until 12am midnight
  • July 5th: 6pm until 11pm

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