City of Marysville cracking down on illegal fireworks

City of Marysville officials hope that residents enjoy Independence Day fireworks in a legal "safe and sane" fashion.

Discharging of fireworks is permitted from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. on July 4 only. Inside Marysville city limits, current laws state that legal fireworks, those typically defined as Class C or "safe and sane," may only be sold from noon to 11 p.m. on June 28 and from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. on June 29 through July 4.

Marysville police will cite people caught with illegal fireworks between now and the holiday weekend, and warn them not to buy or use those fireworks. Under state law, possession or discharge of illegal fireworks is a misdemeanor offense punishable by a fine of up to $1,000, up to a year in jail and a mandatory court appearance.

The city of Marysville amended its fireworks laws three years ago to apply not only to use and discharge of illegal fireworks, but also to standard "safe and sane" fireworks if they are ignited outside the specified times and dates under city laws, according to Marysville Community Information Officer Doug Buell. The Marysville City Council also gave police added enforcement powers to issue civil citations to violators, similar to a standard ticket, as an alternative to criminal citations.

A civil infraction fine, in an amount up to $500, may be issued by police instead of a criminal citation. The criminal misdemeanor fine, consistent with the standard state penalty, can add up to an amount not to exceed $1,000, 90 days in jail or both. Gross misdemeanor offenses carry a fine of up to $5,000, a year in jail or both, and a person with three or more civil infractions within a two-year time period may be cited for a misdemeanor.

Civil infractions enable officers to spend more time on the streets responding to fireworks complaints and less time processing criminal citation paperwork, according to Marysville Police Cmdr. Robb Lamoureux. He described the safety of individuals and property as their paramount concern.

"Use caution and follow safety rules for responsible use of fireworks," Lamoureux said. "Illegal fireworks in particular pose a public safety and medical hazard, and they have the potential to cause property damage in the Marysville area."

Buell said the city would prefer to better educate community members about using fireworks responsibly than to write citations.

"Word of mouth by ticketed violators may be the most effective way to spread the news," Buell said.

City officials also urge Fourth of July holiday revelers to clean up their fireworks after they're finished.

"After you light it up, clean it up," Buell said. "Discarded fireworks the days after the Fourth become a neighborhood eyesore, and they can pose a potential fire hazard if not disposed of property."

For more information, visit the city of Marysville fireworks website.

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