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Fireworks illegal in most of county

As the Fourth of July celebration approaches, the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office and the Yakima County Fire Marshal’s Office is reminding residents of the local fireworks laws.

Yakima County has a total ban on all fireworks in the unincorporated areas of the county. This means that it is illegal to store, offer for sale, expose for sale, use, possess, fire or discharge fireworks.

The penalty is $1,000 and/or 90 days imprisonment.

The Yakima County sheriff has a zero tolerance policy and can mail a citation on the witness of fire service personnel.

Fireworks purchased on the Yakama Indian Nation reservation are legal only for enrolled tribal members on tribal lands.

Grandview and Sunnyside also have complete bans on fireworks. Mabton allows residents to discharge fireworks with a permit. Granger allows fireworks everywhere except in city parks.

In 2011, Washington State had more than 470 fireworks related emergency incidents, resulting in nearly $570,000 in property loss.

A total of 75 percent of the firework incidents reported statewide resulted in vegetation or wildland fires with a loss of $118,350. Another 10 percent were residential fires with losses totaling $162,594.

According to state officials, legal fireworks discharged by the general public caused more fires and injuries than illegal fireworks.

Every time a firefighter responds to an incident, they put their lives at risk. Increased demand for resources due to fireworks incidents reduces the availability for the remainder of the community.

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