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Fire chiefs propose fireworks ban
"What's July 4 without firecrackers, sparklers and fireworks to light up the night sky?Kitsap County residents might find out if a ban supported by the Kitsap County Fire Chiefs' Association is endorsed by local jurisdictions.The resolution calls for a countywide ban on the sale of fireworks from June 28 through July 6. It also would ban discharge of fireworks for the 24-hour period from 6 p.m. July 3 through 6 p.m. July 4, according to Kitsap County Fire District 7 Chief Wayne Center.It's a measure meant to avoid sparking fires in what has become an unusually dry year, according to the resolution.The Chiefs' Association is concerned with the ongoing drought. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, water shortages date back a year and have gotten progressively more severe. Precipitation between March 2000 and February 2001 was less than 65 percent of normal, making it the second-driest winter on record in the Northwest.Lower-than-average rainfall is predicted to continue.The chiefs believe the ban is in the best interests of Kitsap residents and firefighters. Although the chiefs support such a move, it was not passed on for any official action, Center said.In order for such a ban to take effect, the county and cities would have to take action barring fireworks. Any ban would have to be a cooperative countywide effort, the chief said.We would have to do it (with all participating) or none, Center said.That would have to include tribal representatives.The county fire chiefs association has no authority over the reservations, and might have to go to the Washington State Association of Fire Marshals for help from the state level.The tribes have shown when there's reasonable cause they're always willing to work with us. It's just a matter of getting out, talking to folks, Center said. If you're square with them, they're generally willing to help. "