Consideration needed before fireworks ban | Letter to the editor

Posted 2/23/22

I am writing to convey my disappointment at the Leader’s story regarding the proposed Jefferson County fireworks ban. We heard from our county commissioners, county prosecutor, and fire …

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Consideration needed before fireworks ban | Letter to the editor

Posted

I am writing to convey my disappointment at the Leader’s story regarding the proposed Jefferson County fireworks ban. We heard from our county commissioners, county prosecutor, and fire officials. However, the Leader’s coverage gave no consideration to the many Jefferson County citizens who love to celebrate July 4 with fireworks.

I appreciate fire officials’ concerns, but the Leader should have probed more deeply and considered the unintended consequences of a ban. How many fireworks-related fires occur? If a ban were in place, would some folks take their fireworks farther afield where the sheriff’s department doesn’t patrol, the fire districts have a limited capacity to respond, and the risk of catastrophic fires is greater?

The Leader’s story discussed enforcement of a fireworks ban, misdemeanor citations and $1,000 fines. It didn’t include the views of Sheriff Joe Nole whose deputies will have the troublesome task of enforcing it and issuing citations.

I was sorry to read about the problems at the Gardiner boat ramp cited by Commissioner Brotherton. I have a different perspective. For decades I’ve lived up the street from Irondale Beach Park where folks flock on the Fourth for a good time with their kids and friends to shoot off fireworks. The vibe is friendly.

Friends of Chimacum Creek, a neighborhood group, conducts monthly cleanups at the park, including on July 5. Considering the number of folks celebrating and considering it’s long past dark when the party ends, there’s very little trash. Which situation, Irondale or Gardiner, better represents the citizens of Jefferson County?

I hope before the county commissioners hold their Feb. 28 public hearing on the proposed fireworks ban, The Leader will give this issue more thorough and thoughtful consideration. I hope the county commissioners will, too.

Jim Pearson
IRONDALE

Comments

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  • banjowilly

    I strongly support the ban. A teenager on the Columbia River Gorge carelessly tossed a smokebomb starting a huge fire that endangered many lives, destroyed four homes, and burned 48,000 acres. The teenage was fined $37M in damages, which of course could never be paid (more info here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detailfull/crgnsa/fire/?cid=fseprd567631&width=full). Most fires affecting national forests start in our communities (https://www.popsci.com/science/wildfire-home-safety-plan/). We can have extremely long bouts without rain here in the northwest - why not be proactive about protecting our homes and beautiful landscape when the risk is high?

    Friday, February 25 Report this

  • greggk47

    I think Mr. Pearson has some good points. Mr. Banjowilly does to. Jefferson County is different than the Columbia River Gorge in that we don't have the constant wind ****ing on the river nor do we have the higher temperatures. I'd be in favor of having the ban be weather dependent and the Fire Chief decide when to allow and when to deny fireworks. I could also see having designated areas to allow fireworks like school parking lots. A ban will deter most folks but the bad apples are still going to shoot them off and likely in inappropriate places.

    Saturday, February 26 Report this

  • MargeS

    Through the years, Port Townsend has had fireworks displays in Port Townsend, well organized and for years paid for by Dr. Chuljin who also was in charge of the show, later his son. Every year I watch from my house at Eaglemount the fireworks show put on by a citizen at Discovery Bay, over the water. Years ago, there were fireworks everywhere. Then Safe and Sane fireworks came along. Less injuries and less fires. But people would go to the Indian Reservations and buy their fireworks. Many summers I have watched lightning flash across the waters and the Olympic Mountains. Now that's a show, although I could see that fires were being started. It's one night a year, can we just enjoy a safely presented show?

    Saturday, February 26 Report this