Story and photo by Doug Petrowski
The City of Mountlake Terrace is reminding residents the sale, possession and discharge of all fireworks are prohibited within the city limits, and the police department will be out with additional staff patrolling neighborhoods and responding to fireworks-related calls during the Independence Day holiday.
In addition to the ban, the city will use specific strategies in an effort to discourage fireworks. On July 4 park and athletic field restrooms will be locked, ballfield lights will be on until 11 p.m. and field sprinklers will be activated. The Mountlake Terrace Police Department will also add one full-time and several reserve patrol officers from 8 p.m. July 4 to 1 a.m. July 5. Violations can lead to confiscation of fireworks and fines.
With bans in Mountlake Terrace and other area cities in effect, you might think the holiday would be completely quiet and free of any fireworks. But a few stands selling fireworks can still be found in Lynnwood and areas of unincorporated Snohomish County.
This is the sixth year Mike Luke has had a firework stand outside his convenience store on Edmonds Way. His business is surrounded by cities that ban fireworks: Woodway, Edmonds and Shoreline. “We’re in a little pocket of unincorporated Snohomish County,” Luke said.
Luke says he explains the laws to any customers who ask. “I give full disclosure,” he said.
Fireworks are permitted, within limited time frames, in Lynnwood, Brier and unincorporated Snohomish County.
Although he stocks plenty of fireworks that are loud and bright, even aerial rockets, Luke said his biggest selling items are more modest. “Most of my sales are the family-friendly stuff, the smoke bombs, the sparklers,” he said.
Luke is not a fan of the fireworks that can be purchased on the Tulalip and other reservations. “Some of the crap they sell on the reservations — the M-80s, the firecrackers, the bottle rockets — that’s the stuff that will cause trouble,” he said.
Snohomish County Fire District 1 is also discouraging all fireworks use except for professional displays administered by licensed pyro technicians. The Fire District reports that fireworks have been responsible for more than $3.25 million in property damage in Snohomish County over the past six years.
Fire District 1 encourages holiday revelers to attend one of the public firework displays in the area. Edmonds, Everett and Kenmore all have large professional displays on the evenings of the Fourth of July.
For Mountlake Terrace residents not wanting to leave the city and willing to wait three-and-a-half weeks, there is the public fireworks display scheduled as part of the Tour de Terrace festival on July 28.