The thunder from Monday night’s electrical storm is long gone, but many Mid-Columbians can expect more booms through July 5 with the start of fireworks sales.
Stands open for business at noon Wednesday across the state, including in Benton City, Richland and West Richland.
It is illegal to shoot off or even possess fireworks in Pasco, Connell, Franklin County, Kennewick and Prosser.
The maximum fine for illegally discharging or possessing fireworks is $1,000 each time.
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Sales are legal in Burbank, but Walla Walla County has shortened the sales window. Stands are not allowed to open until 9 a.m. Saturday, according to the Office of the State Fire Marshal.
And while the fireworks you buy in Benton City and Richland are legal to be set off in the unincorporated areas of Benton County, purchases made in West Richland can’t cross into rural county areas for use because some of the items are banned.
State law dictates that, with exception to restrictions or bans, that Fourth of July fireworks can be:
▪ Sold and discharged noon to 11 p.m. Wednesday.
▪ Sold and discharged 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday through Monday.
▪ Sold 9 a.m. to 11 p.m on the holiday, with an extra hour allowing firing off until midnight.
▪ Sold 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. July 5. Consumers then have two more hours to wrap up their firework festivities for the season.
In Benton City, the fun ends on the Fourth of July. While fireworks can still be purchased, they can’t be fired off within city limits on July 5, the State Fire Marshal’s Office said.
In West Richland, people can shop ahead of time, but they are only allowed to use the fireworks within city limits from 6-11 p.m. Sunday and Monday and from 6 p.m. to midnight on July 4.
Walla Walla County, including Burbank, follows the state law hours but only allows the discharge of fireworks Saturday through the holiday.
Yakima County and its cities all ban fireworks, with exceptions to Mabton, Moxee and Zillah.
The state issued 867 licenses this year for retail firework tents and stands.
Legal consumer fireworks are: cylindrical and cone fountains; helicopter and aerial spinners; smoke devices; Roman candles; parachutes; wheels; mine/shells/cakes; ground spinners; reloadable mortars; sparklers; and novelties.
People on a tribal reservation are allowed to use firecrackers, sky rockets and missiles and bottle rockets.
Anyone caught possessing or using an M-80, M-100, an altered firework or an improvised explosive device (IED) like a pipe bomb or tennis bomb will face a criminal charge.
The fire marshal’s office suggests buying fireworks the same day they will be used, otherwise storing them in a secure location in the home so kids cannot readily access them.
State fire officials also recommend taking time to pick an area for firing fireworks, avoiding grass and other dry vegetation that is vulnerable to fire. Follow directions and warnings listed on the firework, only let adults light them, keep water nearby and clean up any debris, officials said.