Marysville urges folks to defuse the Fourth
August 28, 2008 · Updated 9:01 AM
MARYSVILLE If theres ever a divide in this community, the Fourth of July brings it out.
And if you like to light up the noisy stuff, city officials warn you to take it elsewhere.
Living next the Tulalip Indian Reservation is like being neighbor to an ammo dump for some residents. Pet owners and folks who just like peace and quiet rue the popular fireworks village and Marysville police and fire officials urge people to leave the shows to the professionals. If people are going to ignore that advice, they urge simple precautions that could save a home or a finger or a hand.
Some of the wares sold at Boom City are illegal in Marysville. That includes firecrackers, bottle rockets, missiles and rockets that are legal to possess and discharge on tribal lands, but are illegal to possess off of the reservation. M-80s, Cherry Bombs and any improvised devices such as tennis balls filled with powder are class A explosives and people possessing them can be charged with a felony, on or off tribal lands. Legal fireworks include the following, according to the Revised Code of Washington: Sparklers, cylindrical fountains, illuminating torch wheels, ground spinners, flitter sparklers, mine shells, smoke devices, Roman candles and helicopter aerial spinners.
Retail stands for these class C products open for sale around the state on June 28 and the state fire marshal encourages people to take many precautions, including wear goggles, keep a bucket of water and a hose or fire extinguisher nearby.
Stephanie Price is the public information officer for the Marysville Fire District and she noted earlier this week that already a 15-year-old boy was injured lighting fireworks. She said the department is realistic about the proximity to a huge fireworks cache but said common sense can be applied regardless of what type people might light. A good start is working on a safe, solid surface, especially not dry grass, and having only adults light the products. Safe and sane stuff is available in the city, at stands inspected by the district and offer the best margin for error.
Were just promoting the idea of using your best judgment and common sense, Price said, stressing that people need to read up on the differences with whats legal on the reservation and whats legal in the city. Your safest bet is to attend one of the professionally orchestrated shows, she added.
Adult supervision is huge, Price said. Adults should be lighting off the fireworks.
By city law discharging fireworks is only allowed on July 4 from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. and that only includes the legal variety. The residue is also a bane for city workers who must pick up the leavings. Many city cul de sacs were filled with piles of burnt scraps after last years Independence Day. City spokesman Doug Buell said the onus is on citizens to sweep it up if they are going to light it up, because the spent fireworks are an eyesore and potential fire hazard.
City councilman Jeff Seibert said he thinks the city might have to ban all fireworks, because the responding police and fire officers are faced with a bait and switch situation when they show up to a complaint. He doesnt know if that would help all of the problems but said the city of Everett has banned everything. Tacoma made the infractions a civil offense, meaning police and prosecutors have to meet a lower burden of proof for a conviction.
My preference has been to try to stop the illegal fireworks, Seibert said. Its been an ongoing battle and Im not sure if were gaining ground. The problem has always been our city limits.
The unusual and uneven pockets of Snohomish County land intertwined in city limits complicate the response from the appropriate agencies, even with mutual aid agreements between law enforcement agencies. He had no issues with the Tulalip Tribes and respected their right to sell the noisemakers that bother one of his dogs.
For a number of years it was getting out of hand, Seibert said.