Fireworks are now on sale on the Yakima reservation, but remember they're banned in the city of Yakima and all the unincorporated areas of the county. Many cities have bans in place up and down the valley as well.  State Fire Marshal Charles M. Duffy announced today that in 2011 there were 264 fires caused by fireworks. Residential fires accounted for 89 fires, with estimated losses of over $568,846 dollars.

Using fireworks in a negligent or reckless manner can have criminal and/or legal consequences.  Consequences range from being charged with misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor or even a felony. A gross misdemeanor can bring a fine of up to $5,000 and/or one year in prison. Possession of illegal explosive devices, such as m-80’s, a homemade device or an altered firework is both a state and federal offense.

Summer weather conditions make grasses and other vegetation dry and susceptible to fire. A person found responsible for a starting a wildland fire with fireworks can be required to pay restitution for the fire suppression costs and damages caused by the fire. This could be in the hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars.