Thurston County has banned the discharge of consumer fireworks in unincorporated areas of the county after officials determined weather conditions and fire danger levels are too high.
The emergency ban was implemented after discussions with the county’s manager, fire marshal and director of emergency services.
“Extensive rainfall in early June created a large amount of growth in brush and vegetation,” stated a news release. “This growth is now becoming very dry due to lack of precipitation and projected record setting high temperatures.”
Dry vegetation is one of the main fuel sources of concern, stated the release, since it can lead to increased fire severity and threaten the lives and property of residents
“This decision was made to increase the safety for life and property of residents and in support of our first responders,” said Joshua Cummings, the Thurston County fire marshal. “We recognize that the national Fourth of July holiday is a celebration of freedom and liberty in the United States, with the discharge of fireworks as an expression of that freedom. However, given the current and projected weather conditions we believe this is the right call for our community.”
Cummings encouraged everyone to safely celebrate the holiday.
Multiple organizations, like the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, the National Weather Service, the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center and local fire chiefs were included in the decision.
Residents of unincorporated Thurston County are urged to call the sheriff’s office non-emergency number at 360-704-2740 for noise complaints and complaints about the use of illegal fireworks. People should only call 911 for life-threatening emergencies.