EVERETT — With the Fourth of July approaching, officials are urging firework enthusiasts to be responsible.
For all of 2017, most fireworks-related incidents reported to the Washington State Patrol occurred July 4.
There were 262 injuries tallied and 83 fires.
“Most of the fireworks that drive people crazy are illegal statewide, minus (tribal) reservations,” Snohomish County spokesman Kent Patton said. “We’re all trying to get the message out to keep people safe.”
In Snohomish County, more than 1,000 fireworks calls were made to emergency dispatchers on the Fourth of July last year.
Heather Chadwick, a spokeswoman for Fire District 7 in Monroe, said she partly blames the dry weather.
“We’re hoping the rain calms everything down a bit this year,” she said.
Chadwick said the district will increase staffing on the Fourth for a second straight year.
South Snohomish Fire and Rescue also is gearing up for the Fourth. They’ll have three extra engines at the ready, said Leslie Hynes, a spokeswoman for the agency.
If there are problems in the neighborhood, people should know what to do.
Snohomish County’s non-emergency numbers recently merged. Now, everyone in the county can call the same number: 425-407-3999. Previously, there were two separate 911 centers with different non-emergency numbers.
The old number for south county will be forwarded during the transition, said Kurt Mills, executive director of Snohomish County 911.
The non-emergency line is answered by the same folks as 911, but better allows the dispatchers to respond first to the calls involving immediate danger, Mills said. For comparison, 911 gets about 1,668 calls a day this time of year. Another 330 go to the non-emergency number.
Extra staff will be on duty for the Fourth of July, often the busiest day of the year for emergency responders.
“Our request is that the community not use 911 to report the use of illegal fireworks unless there’s an actual fire or somebody injured,” Mills said.
Meanwhile, Snohomish County government has been taking steps to minimize further confusion on the county website, which until recently listed something called “E-911.” That was an internal phrase for an administrative office that oversees public funding for 911 but doesn’t handle emergency calls.
People were leaving voicemails meant for 911 at that office, according to the county. It didn’t happen every day but often enough to cause concern, especially for potential life-and-death situations.
Emergency calls should be directed to 911.
Herald reporter Rikki King contributed to this story.
Local rules for discharging legal fireworks
Arlington: July 4, 9 a.m. to midnight.
Bothell: July 4, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Darrington: July 4, until 11:59 p.m.
Gold Bar: Banned
Granite Falls: July 4, 9 a.m. to midnight.
Index: July 4
Lake Stevens: July 4, 9 a.m. to midnight.
Mill Creek: Banned
Monroe: July 4, 9 a.m. to midnight.
Mountlake Terrace: Banned
Snohomish: July 4, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Stanwood: No restrictions other than state law
Sultan: No restrictions other than state law
Unincorporated Snohomish County: July 4, until 11:59 p.m.