Crews responded to 15 fires in Seattle started by fireworks that caused one injury from June 28 through Tuesday, officials said Wednesday. That’s despite fireworks being illegal in Seattle and pleas from officials to avoid using them amid high wildfire risk and a historic dry spell.
There were 16 fireworks-related fires from June 28 through July 15 in 2020, according to Seattle Fire Department spokesperson David Cuerpo.
No structure fires were caused by fireworks this year in Seattle between June 28 and Tuesday, Cuerpo said.
Last year, fireworks set parts of a four-story apartment building ablaze in West Seattle on July 4, causing $100,000 in damage, according to the Seattle Fire Department. Two fires linked to fireworks in unincorporated King County in 2019 killed or critically wounded and displaced residents after Fourth of July celebrations.
Fireworks are banned in the city of Seattle and most of King County. This year is the last year they will be legal in unincorporated parts of the county.
A preliminary count of fireworks-related fires in King County and statewide is still being compiled, according to the Washington State Patrol.
Portland, which also bans the use of fireworks, saw more success this year with an 80% decrease in fires caused by fireworks. Portland Fire & Rescue reported only nine fires, down from 44 in 2020.