Firefighters with Eastside Fire & Rescue, for the first time ever, took to the streets in advance of the Fourth of July holiday. They spent several hours patrolling neighborhoods, looking for illegal fireworks.
The increased patrols are in response to fireworks complaints they receive every year at about this time.
Much like Seattle, all fireworks are banned in the cities of Carnation, Issaquah, and Sammamish. People in those municipalities caught setting off illegal fireworks can face fines of up to $500.
Firefighters on Wednesday night focused their attention on the South Cove area off I-90, driving up and down the streets of several neighborhoods and looking for illegal activity.
"With the density of these areas we're patrolling, it's structural involvement," said Lt. Brian Jarvis. "A fire starts, and it gets close to one house and can spread to another house, so we want to minimize that and educate people so it doesn't occur."
Firefighters hope their presence in the neighborhoods sends a message that they're watching, and say these pre-holiday patrols will likely become an annual tradition for Eastside Fire & Rescue.