King County Executive Dow Constantine is scheduled to hold a press conference in Issaquah on Thursday morning to highlight the danger posed by dry weather and fireworks. Like Fire Chiefs from around King County, Constantine will urge residents to attend one of the many professional public fireworks displays this Independence Day, including the Fourth on the Plateau in Sammamish. Prolonged dry weather and average spring rainfall have prompted grass and vegetation growth, creating more fuel nearly six weeks earlier than normal. Fireworks are illegal in Sammamish.
“In 2009 we had similarly dry weather before the Fourth and fire agencies had 302 fireworks-related fires,” said Dave Nelson, speaking for the King County Fire Chiefs Association. “With this Fourth on a weekend, we expect a similar number of calls. People can reduce the potential of fireworks-related fires by attending a public display."
All kinds of fireworks can cause injuries. Last year around the state, 158 injuries (57%) were caused by legal fireworks and 66 by illegal fireworks. Of the illegal fireworks, homemade devices accounted for 35% of the injuries. Most of these injuries were either burns or trauma to the head/face or arms/hands.
King County Fire Chiefs Association PIO