Fire marshal OKs fireworks permits — conditionally

Despite considerable recent rainfall, Kitsap County Fire Marshal Derrick Crawley will still issue conditional-use fireworks permits that can be revoked in drought conditions. While Crawley said such conditions are unlikely, he’s not going to take any chances.

“We could have a reverse weather pattern, and some 90-degree weather, and that would result in extreme dry conditions,” he said. ”So any permit we issue needs to be conditional.”

According to the Seattle bureau of the National Weather Service, SeaTac has received 17.07 inches of rain since Jan. 1. This is one inch less than the normal value, but higher than last year’s comparable total of 14.83 inches.

The permit deadline was yesterday at 4 p.m. for all non-tribal fireworks merchants.

Tribal fireworks stands, many situated along State Route 305 east of Poulsbo, do not fall under county jurisdiction. However, the tribe cooperates with the county on all safety measures, according to fireworks merchant Bennie Armstrong.

Armstrong, who has sold fireworks for 32 years, said he did not recall any summer with comparable rainfall this late in the year that preceded a serious drought condition.

Earlier this year, Crawley appeared in front of the Kitsap County commissioners to announce his intention to issue the conditional permits.

“I think the snow pack in the mountains was lower than what people would want to see,” Armstrong said. “But the Kitsap Peninsula is in good shape.”

Armstrong preaches safety and common sense to his customers, regardless of the weather. And wet conditions do not give people a license to be careless. “No matter what, you never want to shoot fireworks over your neighbor’s roof,” he said.

“With any consumer fireworks you need proper adult supervision,” he said. “In dry conditions you want to make sure you are shooting over the water. And you will be safe if you just follow the instructions.”

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