Island County cops fear rowdy July 4 weekend

Island County Sheriff Mark Brown is predicting a busy, possibly explosive, Fourth of July weekend.

Island County Sheriff Mark Brown is predicting a busy, possibly explosive, Fourth of July weekend.

“Complaints will probably double because it’s on a weekend,” he said. “But weather will influence a lot of what goes on.”

For now, meteorologists are predicting a pleasant Independence Day weekend, with patchy clouds and highs in the upper 60s.

Fireworks fans can purchase legal pyrotechnics and light them off during the prescribed times. The same rules apply in Oak Harbor, Coupeville and the unincorporated areas of the county.

As Brown explained, they are no longer called “safe and sane” fireworks. Now the legal fireworks are referred to in state law as “consumer fireworks.” They include sparklers, Roman candles, smoke devices and spinners.

Illegal fireworks include firecrackers and any type of sky rocket. These are commonly purchased on Indian reservations.

Consumer fireworks may be discharged between the hours of 9 a.m. and 11 p.m. through July 3; between the hours of 9 a.m. and midnight on July 4; and between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m. July 5.

It’s easy to find consumer fireworks. Ray Merrill, the battalion chief for Oak Harbor Fire Department, said there are four stands in Oak Harbor alone. But he cautions folks that it’s illegal to discharge any type of firework on public property, including the Navy base.

Both Brown and Oak Harbor Police Chief Rick Wallace are scheduling as many officers as possible to work the holiday weekend.

“I’m sure all the parties will lead to problems downtown and elsewhere,” said Wallace, who added that the city’s parade and fireworks display are especially busy times for cops.

The good news, he said, is that they’ve received fewer fireworks complaints than usual in recent weeks.

Brown, who plans to work patrol during the long weekend, warned that deputies will not turn a blind eye to illegal fireworks or discharges outside the allowed time. Yet he also wants citizens to understand that law enforcement may be extremely busy and fireworks complaints may not be the top priority.

“We want as much as anybody for people to have a good time of the Fourth of July,” he said. “But we also want everyone to be safe.”

More in News

15-year-old boy arrested in alleged wrench assault

A 15-year-old boy who brought a wrench to a fistfight is facing… Continue reading

Nyberg
Man sought on $75K warrant after skipping court

An Anacortes man is wanted on a $75,000 arrest warrant after failing… Continue reading

Clinton man accused of having images of child rape

A Clinton resident is accused of possessing images of children as young… Continue reading

List of North Whidbey CARES recipients released July 10

Right about now, the Oak Harbor CARES Act grant selection committee should… Continue reading

Makeup bag heist uncovered | Island Scanner

Thursday, June 18 At 10:04 a.m., a caller on Alliance Avenue reported… Continue reading

Oak Harbor staff works to clarify zoning code

Island County Superior Court ruled against Oak Harbor’s low-income housing development for… Continue reading

Volunteer burnout a problem for fire district, according to chief

Availability of firefighters has become a critical need for South Whidbey Fire/EMS… Continue reading

Contest invites kids to get crafty

Kids with a big imagination can now participate in a local art… Continue reading

Marina Advisory Committee analyzes impact of COVID-19

The impact the pandemic has had on the Oak Harbor Marina appears… Continue reading

Most Read