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Remember: Personal fireworks are illegal | Editorial

They sparkle in the night sky and symbolize the red glow of the rocket that gave way to the liberation of our country from British rule: on Independence Day.

But they are also dangerous when handled by amateurs. On average, 18,500 fires across the country are started by fireworks each year, resulting in direct property damage of $ 43 million, according to data from the National Fire Protection Association.

We would like to remind everyone that, for a decade, personal fireworks have not been allowed anywhere in our beautiful county. The use of any type of personal device presents a real danger of injury and fire. In addition, the residues and pollution left by personal fireworks are toxic to the environment.

The so-called “safe and healthy” fireworks sold on the mainland are intended for use in the communities where they are purchased. These fireworks include those that stay on the ground and do not launch into the air. Most fireworks sold on reserves are not legal anywhere else in the state.

Studies have shown that fireworks negatively affect birds, wildlife and pets. Birds are known to fly spontaneously due to fireworks, crashing into trees, buildings and against each other, resulting in death.

Many animals have much more advanced hearing abilities than humans, which is why the loud noise of fireworks, exceeding 150 decibels, that injure human ears can be deafening to an animal. In other documented cases, nesting birds and parents of small mammals have been known to abandon their nests, leaving defenseless young behind.

Also keep pets indoors to prevent them running away in fear.

There will be incredible fireworks displays presented by professional pyrotechnicians throughout San Juan County. Fireworks are scheduled for Roche Harbor, Friday Harbor, Eastsound, Deer Harbor and Lopez Island. Residents and visitors alike always enjoy these shows. For a full schedule of fireworks and July 4th events, check out this week’s edition.

The San Juan County Fire Marshal has assigned our area a moderate fire danger rating, which means campfires are allowed, but all other fires are closed for the season. Campfires should be supervised at all times and a hose or loaded water buckets should be on hand to extinguish the fire.

When we have a breathtaking spectacle to watch, who needs illegal fireworks?