Auburn says no to fireworks show this year

The City of Auburn has cancelled its annual Fourth of July Festival due to COVID-19. If you’re thinking about holding your own fireworks show, you might want to think again.

There are several reasons why lighting off fireworks is a bad idea this Independence Day.

For starters, you could hurt yourself or someone else. Last year, the Washington State Fire Marshal’s Office recorded 237 injuries caused by fireworks. Of those injuries, 109 were burns, 88 were caused by getting hit by fireworks or debris. Oftentimes bystanders are the ones injured by fireworks, not the person lighting them off.

Fireworks can also cause a wildfire. The Fire Marshal’s office recorded 360 fires started by fireworks in 2020. Most often, injuries and fires caused by fireworks happen on the Fourth of July. The fires that burned last year as a result of fireworks caused over $1.3 million worth of damage.

This summer is an especially bad year for wildfires. As of June 28, around 91% of the state is abnormally dry, and 63% is considered to be a moderate drought, according to the National Integrated Drought Information Systems. When conditions are dry, the risk of wildfires increases. East King County already had one major brush fire in Cedar Hills this week.

In addition to this, fireworks can trigger PTSD, especially in combat veterans and survivors of gun violence, according to Penn Medicine News.

It’s in everyone’s best interest to leave the fireworks to the professionals this Independence Day.