Fourth of July fireworks bans in effect across western US amid drought, wildfires
By By Brett Rathbun, AccuWeather.com Meteorologist
July 05, 2016, 6:43:53 AM EDT
Recent dry weather paired with the high risk for wildfires has led to firework bans for Fourth of July celebrations across the western United States.
Dry weather since April has caused the entire West Coast to return to conditions that are at least abnormally dry, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.
“The recent dry weather coupled with dried out or dead vegetation leads to a scenario that will make the use of fireworks very dangerous over the upcoming holiday weekend,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dan Pydynowski said.
In Washington, numerous cities, including Seattle, Spokane and Olympia, have been issued a firework ban or restriction, according to the Fire Protection Bureau.
A fireworks ban means that the sale and/or discharge of fireworks is prohibited for a specified time period.
In Oregon, fireworks are not allowed along state beaches and at all state and national parks, according to The Oregonian.
“Though cities such as San Francisco and Los Angeles only average under 2 inches of rain between April 1 and July 4, it has been dry even by their standards," Pydynowski said. “Los Angeles has only received about 25 percent of their normal rainfall while San Francisco has received under 50 percent."
Despite a record rainfall during the winter months, the Pacific Northwest has also been dry as of late.
“Even wetter places such as Seattle and Portland, Oregon, still have only received about 60 to 75 percent of their normal rainfall since April 1,” Pydynowski said.
Those who disobey fireworks bans could face a harsh penalty from local police departments, including a fine or jail time.
Fireworks used in an unsafe area could easily spark a new wildfire. Even outdoor barbecues should be used with caution, especially when used over dry vegetation.
With dry, hot weather expected to continue, more bans could go into effect as the holiday approaches.
With the exception of the Sierra Nevada and a few desert areas in southeastern California, thunderstorms attributed to the southwestern United States monsoon are forecast to generally remain east of California, Oregon and Washington during the first week of July.
Comments that don't add to the conversation may be automatically or manually removed by Facebook or AccuWeather. Profanity, personal attacks, and spam will not be tolerated.
More Weather News
Rounds of heavy rain to threaten parts of central US with river flooding, travel disruptions into early week
Weather News - May 19, 2019, 5:00:56 AM EDT
The risk for severe weather will continue early this week across the southern and central Plains while heavy rain will threaten an area farther north.
Weather News - May 19, 2019, 4:35:52 AM EDT
Damaging storms will continue to lash the central United States into Sunday morning, just one day after the same storm system spawned nearly 40 preliminary tornado reports from Nebraska to Texas. Damaging winds and flooding downpours have become the main threats with these storms.
Weather News - May 19, 2019, 5:01:50 AM EDT
The central United States will have little time to recover from the latest severe weather outbreak before the next round of violent storms ignites.
Weather News - May 18, 2019, 1:01:34 PM EDT
AccuWeather's extreme meteorologist was on the chase in the Cornhusker State and captured extraordinary video of a tornado forming right around him.
Weather News - May 19, 2019, 12:12:09 AM EDT
Powerful thunderstorms erupted across the central U.S. on Friday afternoon from western Texas through Nebraska, unleashing dozens of tornadoes.
Weather News - May 17, 2019, 5:14:54 PM EDT
The delays in planting crops is becoming an increasing nuisance for farmers and could result in an overall decline in corn production this year.
Weather News - May 19, 2019, 2:22:24 AM EDT
An area of showers and thunderstorms north of the Bahamas has a chance of developing into a weak tropical system early this week.
In case you missed it: Wintry weather, snow visit New England, California; Natural phenomena around world take social media by storm
Weather News - May 17, 2019, 2:26:39 PM EDT
Wintry weather interrupted spring warmth this week across the West and Northeast, while several astonishing spectacles appeared in the sky around the world.