EVERETT — Fireworks will be banned in southwest unincorporated Snohomish County starting in 2021, following a unanimous vote by the Snohomish County Council this week.
Once the rule goes into effect, fireworks won’t be allowed anywhere in South County Fire’s service area. Fireworks are already outlawed in the four cities covered by the fire authority, which are Brier, Edmonds, Lynnwood and Mountlake Terrace.
Wednesday’s vote applies to the unincorporated part of the county’s Southwest Urban Growth Area.
During an advisory vote in November’s general election, residents said they’d like to see a fireworks ban in unincorporated Snohomish County. It didn’t change any rules, but informed the Snohomish County Council as it continued to discuss the issue.
In all, about 56% were in favor of a ban. That number was higher in the South County Fire service area, at more than 59%.
County councilmember Terry Ryan represents parts of unincorporated Snohomish County, as well as the cities of Bothell, Brier, Mill Creek and Mountlake Terrace.
He voted in favor of the ban because of support shown in the advisory vote.
“We need to listen to our residents and act accordingly,” he said during Wednesday’s meeting.
Since 2005, fireworks have caused more than $3.5 million worth of damage in the South County Fire service area, spokesperson Leslie Hynes said.
The fire authority has seen fewer injuries in cities where fireworks are banned.
“We don’t have exact numbers on that, but we do see lower 911 call volumes, and we don’t see the kind of property loss and injury we see in unincorporated areas,” she said.
South County Fire officials have been working on a ban for more than a decade.
In June, the agency drafted a petition to ban fireworks and sent the request to the county council.
Fireworks are only allowed in unincorporated Snohomish County between 9 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. July 4. The new rule is set to go into effect on that day in 2021.
Fireworks are banned in half of the county’s cities, home to more than 300,000 people.