Fourth of July is right around the corner, which means the sound of fireworks will soon be heard in some Whidbey Island neighborhoods.
The rules regarding fireworks on the island, however, depend on where people live.
It is legal to set off fireworks in Oak Harbor from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. on June 28 – July 3, 9-12 a.m. on July 4, and 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. on July 5.
Under state law, firecrackers, bottle rockets, missiles, rockets, M-80s, cherry bombs, tennis ball bombs, pipe bombs, and altered and homemade fireworks are not legal.
Fireworks can only be used on private property, according to the city of Oak Harbor’s website. Those using fireworks on public land, including roads, beaches and parks, may have their fireworks confiscated and may be fined. Illegal use of fireworks is a gross misdemeanor.
Oak Harbor Fire Chief Ray Merrill said he is always concerned about fireworks this time of year and they always involve a risk, no matter how careful people are. But up until recently, the weather here has been pretty damp.
“The moisture level is still up in the grasses – not saying it couldn’t support combustion,” Merrill said. The threat of combustion always exists in grasses, especially tall grasses.
Merrill’s advice is to “just be careful” and to always have adult supervision present. He pointed out that sparklers burn at 2,000 degrees even though they are considered legal fireworks.
Farther south, Langley has had a fireworks ban in place since 2021.
Coupeville residents can set off fireworks from 9 a.m. to midnight on July 4.
Fireworks can be discharged within the unincorporated areas of Island County from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m on July 3, 9 a.m. to midnight on July 4, and 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. on July 5.
Fireworks cannot be discharged in county parks and cannot be discharged anywhere during Type II burn bans, even within the legal discharge days.
Only adults should light fireworks and soak used fireworks in water for at least 24 hours.