EAST WENATCHEE — Sen. Brad Hawkins endorsed a fireworks ban in East Wenatchee Monday morning in a letter to Mayor Jerrilea Crawford and city council members.
The council began discussing a ban in July, and Fire Chief Brian Brett of Chelan County Fire District recommended a ban during a council meeting last week. The council is expected to hold off on any motions regarding fireworks until a Nov. 2 council meeting.
Hawkins, who represents the 12th Legislative District, lives outside East Wenatchee with his wife and children. He thanked the mayor and council for considering a ban, stating that far too many fires are human-caused.
“During periods of summer heat, extended dry conditions, and high winds, it seems absurd to drive around town and see fireworks being sold that could easily start structure fires and wildfires,” he wrote. “Simply put, the economic destruction of fires, potential loss of life, poor air quality, and millions of taxpayer dollars invested all make approving your fireworks ban a very reasonable decision.”
Hawkins added that he supports the option of permitting fireworks on New Year’s Eve and that residents can enjoy community fireworks celebrations on Fourth of July.
He admitted that enforcing a ban would be challenging — a sentiment Police Chief Rick Johnson voiced during a council meeting last week. However, Hawkins reasoned a ban itself would send a strong message.
“As your State Senator, I have tremendous respect for cities and local control,” he said. “All I can do is encourage you to make this decision and let you know that I support you in doing so.”