King County Council approves fireworks ban in unincorporated areas starting in 2022

Fireworks in unincorporated King County will be illegal starting next year. The legislation will prohibit all types of fireworks, including sparklers and smoke bombs, starting in 2022.

The ban was passed Tuesday after the approval from King County Council, sponsored by Councilmembers Joe McDermott and Claudia Balducci. The new ban will align with most jurisdictions in King County.

"While there are plenty of good reasons to support a full ban on consumer fireworks, I am driven by the tragic loss of life and property in White Center in 2019," McDermott said. "It is past time for King County to do what most cities and parks have already done. People in unincorporated King County deserve the same protections as those living in cities."

McDermott referred to a 2019 White Center house fire caused by fireworks, resulting in the death of a 70-year-old man and his two dogs. The incident also displaced 12 residents in the neighborhood.

McDermott said across Washington fireworks have been the culprit of several wildfires, costing millions of dollars in damages.

"Personal safety, fire safety, and distress to people and pets are some of the good reasons many King County cities have adopted firework regulations," Balducci said. "It just makes sense to expand these protections to our King County residents."

State law requires a one-year waiting period, so the ban will take effect before July 4, 2022.

Properly permitted fireworks displays will still be allowed. 

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