One West Richland mother has found an unusual way to help pay for her children’s education.
It involves sparklers and firework fountains.
Anna Stoker prefers the “pink champagne.”
“All the shots were pink,” said Stoker, who runs a TNT fireworks stand off Van Giesen Street. “There were 25 and they were all just huge and sparkly. I like things that go up in the air that are really high and colorful.”
Stoker and her family are selling fireworks to help pay for her homeschooling two of her four children. She can earn $3,000 to $4,000 a season in a good year.
“Last year wasn’t a great year in sales,” Stoker said. “We’re kind of hoping this year is much better.”
Washington fireworks sales begin at noon June 28 and continue through July 5. But you can’t buy or shoot them off just anywhere.
Fireworks are banned in Kennewick, Pasco and Franklin County.
And Richland has a “no fly” policy for aerial fireworks, but allows residents to use other types sold in the city limits.
“If you purchase within the city limits, it is legal to discharge here,” said Richland police Capt. Mike Cobb. “It cannot leave the ground, whatever it is.”
West Richland also allows some fireworks. They can be fired from 6 to 11 p.m. on July 2 and 3 and from 6 p.m. to midnight on July 4, said West Richland police.
Though individuals can’t shoot off fireworks in Kennewick and Pasco, large public fireworks displays are planned as part of the River of Fire festival along the Columbia River in Kennewick and at the Gesa baseball stadium off Road 68 in Pasco.
Since there are fewer restrictions in areas such as West Richland, Burbank and Walla Walla County, Cobb said most trouble arises when people buy fireworks out of town and light them in town.
Stoker does not encourage fireworks buyers to buy fireworks in West Richland and take them elsewhere. In addition, she said it is important to keep water nearby at all times.
“You should always have buckets, a hose, maybe both,” Stoker said.
Fireworks should never be ignited under objects, such as trees or bushes, Stoker added.
High wind conditions should also be considered when setting off fireworks, as shifts in the wind direction or speed could trigger small fires to spread quickly.
“Once the wind kicks up, shut it down,” Cobb said.
More information on legal times to discharge fireworks and specific county information can be found at www.wsp.wa.gov/fire/docs/fireworks/ordinances.pdf.