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City urges residents to have a safe Fourth of July

From left, Stanwood’s 212 Elite Cheer & Tumble Secretary Linda Cook and Treasurer Lisa Dean set up their fireworks stand in the parking lot of the Marysville Safeway for the first time this year. - Kirk Boxleitner
From left, Stanwood’s 212 Elite Cheer & Tumble Secretary Linda Cook and Treasurer Lisa Dean set up their fireworks stand in the parking lot of the Marysville Safeway for the first time this year.
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

MARYSVILLE — City of Marysville officials hope that residents enjoy Independence Day fireworks in a legal “safe and sane” fashion.

Inside Marysville city limits the discharging of fireworks is permitted from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. on July 4 only. In unincorporated Snohomish County, fireworks may only be discharged between 9 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. on July 4.

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.

“Boom City” on the Tulalip Tribal Reservation operates by different rules. Both its fireworks stands and its designated fireworks lighting area opened June 18 and will remain open from 6 a.m. to midnight, through July 4.

Boom City vendors are allowed to sell firecrackers, chasers, bottle rockets, and other rockets and missiles that are outlawed in the state, but those fireworks cannot leave Boom City and must be lit within its on-site designated area. Boom City vendors are not allowed to sell M-80s, M-100s or other large firecrackers, nor homemade or altered devices, which are illegal under federal law.

“We have three shifts of security personnel for the fireworks stands and the lighting area,” said stand owner Boom City committee chair Brenda Zackuse. “We also have Tribal Police providing on-site protection.”

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 the 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.

Illegal fireworks will be confiscated and follow-up investigations will be pursued to ensure that those illegally distributing such potentially dangerous explosive devices are apprehended, in an effort to keep the city’s citizens safe.

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.”

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 properly.”

For more information, visit the city of Marysville fireworks website at http://marysvillewa.gov/government/fireworks.htm.

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