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Fireworks Laws: July 4th Fireworks Banned in Bellingham, Violators Face $250-$1000 Civil Fines.

People Celebrating July4th in Bellingham Should Be Aware of City’s Stringent Fireworks Laws.

The Bellingham City Council passed a police power ordinance banning all fireworks within the City limits a few years ago. Under its current Fireworks Laws, contained in the Bellingham Municipal Code, any person who violates the fireworks ban may be cited with “Disorderly Conduct” and given a civil infraction fine up to $1,000.00.  According to the law, the minimum fine is $250.00.  Law enforcement and fire officials can immediately seize fireworks they find within the City without need for a warrant.

Bellingham’s Fireworks Laws also create a ban so called “private neighborhood displays.” Once a local tradition where neighbors would pool their fireworks together and shoot them off on the streets or backyards near their homes, it’s now illegal.  Section C of Bellingham’s Fireworks Laws state that any public display of fireworks, no matter the size, require a written application to the Bellingham Fire Chief’s office made at least 10 days in advance of the proposed display.  Applicants must provide the proposed time and location of the public display, and show proof of liability insurance and a fire safety plan.  The law also protects the Lake Whatcom Watershed, stating that no public firework displays within the watershed will be approved.

Other Fireworks Laws in Whatcom County.

As reported recently in the Bellingham Herald, other Whatcom County municipalities also have restrictions on the use of holiday fireworks. Here is a summary prepared by the Herald:

  • Bellingham: Illegal inside city limits at all times. Fines for violations start at $250.
  • Blaine: Legal from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. July 1-3; 9 a.m. to midnight July 4; and 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. July 5. The Herald also noted that this is the last year for your own fireworks display in west Blaine or Semiahmoo Spit.
  • Ferndale: Legal to set off consumer fireworks only from 9 a.m. to midnight on Independence Day.
  • Sumas, Everson & Lynden:  State Fireworks Laws apply, making it legal to set off consumer fireworks at various times between June 28th and July 5th.
  • Unincorporated Whatcom County: No longer follows the State Fire Marshal’s Office dates and times for legal displays. As of this year, summer fireworks are allowed only from 6 to 11 p.m. July 3 and 5, and 6 p.m. to midnight July 4.
  • Parklands:  Fireworks are banned in parks, Port of Bellingham property, state lands and other public places.

Fireworks From Local Indian Reservations.

It should be noted that fireworks stores and stands located on Indian Reservations and Native Trust Land follow different regulations. Customers buying fireworks on the reservation and taking them into areas where there are fireworks laws in effect will have no defense that the items were legal where they bought them.  Many of the most popular fireworks purchased on Indian reservations are illegal under state law. These include can M-80s or M-100s, any sort of firecracker, bottle rockets, missiles or finned projectiles, and mortar shells larger than 1.75 inches in diameter.

The Bellingham Police Department will use emphasis patrols to enforce the firework ban. Police have asked people reporting violations to call 9-1-1.

Local Fireworks Displays on July 4th.

In Bellingham, the Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce & Industry has partnered with Haggen Foods for the annual community fireworks display at Zuanich Point Park. The large fireworks display is set to go off at approximately 10:30 p.m. over Bellingham Bay. Blaine hosts a traditional fireworks display at 10 p.m. on the Blaine waterfront near Marine Park. The Birch Bay Bible Community Church at 4460 Bay Road, will host a licensed fireworks show starting at 9:45 p.m. on Sunday, July 3rd.

Contact Us.

The law firm of Lustick, Kaiman & Madrone is based in Bellingham, WA. Our attorneys have defended thousands of local clients in DUI, felony and misdemeanor cases.  If you would like to meet with us to discuss your case, please feel free to contact our support team staff at (360) 685-4221. You can access our free case evaluation form here.


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