Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Summer weather is/was finally arriving. Independence Day celebrations are just around the corner. We’re looking at cool weather, but rain coming back for the holiday. It keeps changing. Let’s just pray for good weather!
I love celebrating our independence from foreign influence and authority, but Fireworks have become a contentious issue, particularly in neighborhoods with tight housing. In the rural areas, we always get reports of livestock that were scared into fences or ran off. We have hundreds of animals that are not conditioned to the sounds of fireworks like they were in the 1700s. We have citizens who have bad reactions to the sounds of freedom. For many, those reactions were created on behalf of the cause for freedom.
Please be cognizant and respectful of your neighbor’s property and privacy by adhering to the law. Illegal fireworks are not sold by authorized Pierce County vendors. We have no authority over vendors not under Pierce County jurisdiction.
If you choose to use fireworks to celebrate the 4th, please only use legal fireworks allowed by the state fire marshal. You can find examples of them here. For a family’s activity booklet of party ideas, click here.
New for 2022, fireworks are legal in unincorporated parts of the county for New Year’s Eve as provided in RCW 70.77.395: … and from six o'clock p.m. on December 31st until one o'clock a.m. on January 1st of the subsequent year….
Below is an excerpt from current regulations applicable to the sale and discharge of fireworks for July 4th in the unincorporated areas of the county.
E. Dates When Sales and Purchases Permitted. No permit holder shall sell at retail or offer for sale nor shall any person purchase any fireworks authorized to be sold in this Chapter within the unincorporated area of the County, except from 12:00 noon to 11:00 p.m. on June 28 and from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. from June 29 through July 4. Sale and purchase of fireworks on December 27 through December 31 authorized by Chapter 70.77 RCW is specifically prohibited in unincorporated Pierce County.
F. Dates When Discharge Permitted. No person shall use or explode any fireworks within the unincorporated area of the County except from between 10:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. on July 1 through July 3, between 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 midnight on July 4, and between 10:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. on July 5 of any year in which July 4 falls on a Sunday; provided, that this prohibition shall not apply to duly authorized public displays where the same are authorized pursuant to the laws of the State; and provided further, that this prohibition shall not apply to persons or organizations specified in Item H., below.
G. Hours of Discharge. No person shall use or explode any fireworks within the unincorporated area of the County between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 10:00 a.m., except that the period of discharge on July 4 is extended to 12:00 midnight. Any person found in violation of this Section shall be subject to the penalties prescribed in Chapter 70.77 RCW; provided, however, this Section shall not apply to authorized public displays as are specified in Item H., below.
H. Exemptions from Discharge Time Regulations. The discharge of fireworks by religious organizations for ceremonial use and/or by private organizations or persons for specific uses, when approved by the Fire Marshal, shall be permitted at any time or date so approved. The requirements of PCC 17C.60.240 shall be met and only allowed by a licensed pyrotechnician.
In 2023, the County’s fireworks code for July 4th changes. Discharging fireworks will be limited to that day only. This applies to unincorporated Pierce County. The Pierce County Council adopted this change for the 4th and New Year’s Eve in 2021 with Ordinance No. 2021-79.
Note: The sheriff’s department is responsible for enforcement.
- Office Phone: (253) 798-4963; (360) 832-4911
- Emergency Reporting: 9-1-1 (Crimes in Progress)
- Non-Emergency Reporting: (253) 798-4721 #1
- To speak to an On-Duty Deputy: (253) 798-4721 #1 (leave a message with the Communications Officer to have a Mountain Detachment deputy call you back)
South Hill Precinct:
- Emergency Reporting: 9-1-1 (Crimes in Progress)
We should all rejoice in our founding history, described in the letter John Adams wrote to his wife, Abigail:
“I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.
You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. -- I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. -- Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not.”
Letter from John Adams to Abigail Adams, 3 July 1776, "Had a Declaration..." [electronic edition]. Adams Family Papers: An Electronic Archive. Massachusetts Historical Society. http://www.masshist.org/digitaladams/
Original manuscript: Adams, John. Letter from John Adams to Abigail Adams, 3 July 1776, "Had a Declaration..." . 3 pages. Original manuscript from the Adams Family Papers, Massachusetts Historical Society.
Source of transcription: Butterfield, L.H., ed. Adams Family Correspondence. Vol. 2. Cambridge, Mass. Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1963.
We are forever grateful for the strength and courage of those who went before us. Have a glorious and safe Independence Day!
Grateful for You!