County Councilmember Joe McDermott to formally propose fireworks ban today

(Also published on partner site West Seattle Blog)

(Reader photo: Fireworks debris, July 2018)

After years of clamor for a fireworks ban in unincorporated King County, last year’s deadly fire has finally ignited action.

As promised, King County Councilmember Joe McDermott – whose district includes White Center – is about to introduce legislation that would ban fireworks in the unincorporated areas. See a summary below (or here in PDF):

See the full text of the legislation below (or here in PDF):

We talked with Councilmember McDermott as he prepared to officially get it into the system today.

McDermott notes that 25 jurisdictions within King County – including Seattle and Burien, which bookend White Center – already ban fireworks. And in addition to the deadly fire in North Highline, he’s heard from constituents with other concerns, including wildfire worries on Vashon Island.

Yes, he’s heard the concerns raised before – what does this really do if there’s no extra enforcement? “It sets a new norm,” McDermott contends, and use will be reduced. What about the organizations that have raised money through fireworks sales? They’re going to have to find a new, not potentially deadly way to raise money. McDermott says the fundraising-related concerns were a factor in a related bill that has died for the year in the State Legislature, 34th District Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon‘s proposal to change state law so that fireworks bans could take effect faster. The stalling of that bill means that if McDermott’s proposal passes, it wouldn’t take effect until next year, so fireworks would still be legal in unincorporated King County this summer.

What are the chances it will pass? McDermott says he can count on support from at least a couple council colleagues, but he’s not taking anything/anyone for granted. If you have a strong opinion on the proposal, contact all the county councilmembers (here’s how). There also will be a hearing on the proposal, in the Local Services Committee chaired by Councilmember Reagan Dunn, to which the legislation will be referred after the council officially receivesit next week (no date for that hearing yet).

P.S. Professional fireworks displays would still be allowed in unincorporated King County – as they are in the cities with fireworks bans – by permit.

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6 Responses to “County Councilmember Joe McDermott to formally propose fireworks ban today”

  1. …other areas have already banned fireworks, we had someone in our area lose a life due to this hazard and Councilman McDermott is just now proposing a law? Why has this been allowed to continue in our area. Where is common sense?

  2. Good news!

  3. Elizabeth R Giba-Knowles Says:

    More info can be found at:

    You can add your voice to this effort by reaching out to each King County Councilmember by phone at the Council’s main number (206-477-1000) or you can send one email to the entire Council at:

    Please support this important legislation that will help keep our community and first responders safe. Thank you.

  4. This is great news!

  5. Matthew M Leopold Says:

    Please do not go forward with this proposal. Myself and my neighbors are very responsible.

  6. Yes, please ban the fireworks! It’s a safety hazard and a nuisance. People are burning fireworks into the late hours or days before/after the holiday. we are a working middle class neighborhood, we need our sleep!