Fireworks patrols on the hunt

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SEATTLE — This Fourth of July some firefighters on the eastside on the hunt for illegal fireworks.

In the past, brush and structure fires sparked by fireworks have led to fireworks bans in several eastside communities, but the area’s fire chief said it’s still a problem.

“There was some frustration on the part of folks in the community who say we have a fireworks ban — we’ve had it in place for a number of years — and there are still people lighting off fireworks,” Chief Lee Soptich, of Eastside Fire and Rescue said.

Soptich said his crews are getting pro-active this year, patrolling cities like Carnation, Duvall and Issaquah.

They will confiscate illegal stuff like bottle rockets and mortar shells, but they will also work to educate people about what kind of fireworks are allowed in areas where they are legal.

  • Soptich said they want to also remind people of the fire danger caused by fireworks, so that nothing erupts like it did more than a decade ago which ultimately led to the ban on  fireworks.

“Certainly it’s a whole lot better than it was prior to the ban, but there are still a few little pockets, a few neighborhoods we’ve got to go to and make sure they know the message.”

Anyone caught using illegal fireworks can face fines up to $500 dollars and possible jail time.

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