EDITORIAL: Islanders show safety sense

From North Whidbey to South Whidbey, the Fourth of July holiday was notable for what didn’t happen — no major house or brush fires, and no serious injuries, despite thousands of people celebrating in generally dry conditions with both legal and illegal fireworks.

This was the second consecutive years without a major fireworks-related incident. In the past we haven’t been so lucky. Homes have burned to the ground and large expanses of grass and forestlands have been left blackened.

Perhaps our recent success in limiting fireworks-caused disasters is attributable to pure luck, but more likely there are reasons behind it. Our fire district volunteers and police officers are continually out in the community over the Fourth of July holiday, keeping an eye on conditions and reminding kids and adults to be safe with their fireworks. Also, hundreds of people flock to the beaches to fire off their illegal bottle rockets and the like, purchased on nearby Indian reservations. Deputies let them celebrate safely, despite the obvious illegalities taking place. A more hard-headed enforcement policy would scatter the celebrants, resulting in a more dangerous fire situation.

As for the resulting beach litter, that was quickly picked up by Cheryl May and volunteers — the perfect ending to another safe Fourth of July.

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