As the 4th of July holiday approaches, one community is ramping up patrols to prevent people from setting off fireworks. The city of Burien sent a letter to every home, put up posters around the community and added extra deputies to patrol the city during the holiday.
They've doubled the number of sheriff's deputies who will be on patrol that night and say anyone caught in possession of or lighting off fireworks faces a $125 fine.
They will also use private security guards to patrol local parks. Parks that don't have a security officer will utilize sprinklers to keep away revelers.
The city didn't have an exact number on how much it's spending to be safe but admits this money that could go to other things. Even with all these measures, they expect plenty of people will still be lighting off fireworks.
Ray Pettigrew with King County Fire District 2 said many
people claim they are not aware that fireworks are illegal “hopefully this year will be better than last year” Fire Marshal Ray Pettigrew explained.
Fireworks have been illegal in Burien since 1999, but the city says they have to keep reminding people year after year. “It's a huge fire risk, we don't want people to lose their homes because of one night of fun with fireworks,” Burien Information Officer Emily Inlow-Hood said.
With such a late start to that summer warm up you might think conditions would be less dangerous for fire crews, but it's green and lush everywhere you look. Those conditions put fire crews on high alert “We've had a lot of rains, we've had a lot more vegetation, there's a lot more things to burn” Pettigrew said.