WENATCHEE — The Fourth of July approaches, and the Wenatchee Valley is two years into an outright ban on the sale and use of fireworks.
The city of Wenatchee outlawed discharge of fireworks in 2016, after the Sleepy Hollow Fire one year earlier. In Chelan County’s unincorporated areas, setting off fireworks is banned year round, except for New Year’s Eve. The same holds true for East Wenatchee and Douglas County, just across the river.
As for sales, Wenatchee and Chelan County are no-purchase zone as of last year. Smaller towns within the counties have adopted their own restrictive ordinances, all with potential wildfires in mind.
Last year, the state Fire Marshal’s Office recorded 83 fires that started due to the use of fireworks, though none of those were large wildfires. There were 262 people injured by the use of fireworks, 11 percent higher than the 10-year average.
And fireworks that are illegal to own in Washington were responsible for 54 of those injuries and six of those fires.
That’s not to say there’s no way to watch the big bangs this year. There are permitted, professional fireworks displays set for July 4 in Wenatchee, Manson and Entiat, and July 7 in Chelan.
Jefferson Robbins: 679-7013