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Residents celebrated another beautiful Independence Day this week as the community gathered for neighborhood barbeques and a wide range of fireworks displays. The use of aerial fireworks has been a subject of discussion in North Bend for years, and in December the City will be joining a growing number of jurisdictions banning the personal use of aerial fireworks.
In December 2022, North Bend City Councilmembers approved an ordinance amending the City’s Fireworks Code, NBMC 8.20.010. The ordinance will ban the personal use of aerial fireworks within North Bend city limits, removing “special fireworks” from the definition of those authorized for sale, use, discharge, and possession within the City.
Although the new ordinance was passed by Council on December 6, 2022, it will not go into effect until December 21, 2023, per the State of Washington’s requirement that fireworks ordinances such as these must wait a period of one year after adoption to take effect.
In an effort to provide law enforcement consistency for Snoqualmie-North Bend Police, the ordinance is modeled closely after the City of Snoqualmie’s 2016 fireworks ordinance. View the City of North Bend’s ordinance by referring to pages 327 to 331 of the December 6 Council Packet HERE.
During the December 6 City Council meeting, Councilmembers shared a wide range of viewpoints on the topic of fireworks, recognizing their use as a valued tradition for many, and acknowledging the danger fireworks pose to people, animals, homes and businesses, and surrounding forests.
“This is a challenging topic, and we did not make this decision lightly,” commented Mayor McFarland. “Our Public Health and Safety Committee worked through the ordinance with Council, addressing concerns from many angles, listening to residents, Eastside Fire and Rescue, health professionals, and neighboring cities. This feedback helped shape the final amendment to our Fireworks Code.”
While personal use of aerial fireworks will be prohibited within city limits, the ordinance allows for community fireworks events.
What is allowed, once the ordinance goes into effect
What is not allowed, once the ordinance goes into effect: “Special fireworks” means any fireworks, generally large, not designed primarily for sale at retail to the public during prescribed dates and which produce visible or audible effects through combustion, deflagration, or detonation, and which must comply with federal regulations pursuant to the rules of the State Fire Marshal relating to fireworks and are classified as Class B explosives by the U.S. Department of Transportation.