This year's Independence Day celebration marks the first in the City of East Wenatchee's 87-year history that will not include fireworks.

Last year, the East Wenatchee City Council passed a resolution prohibiting the discharge and sale of personal-use fireworks within city limits.

East Wenathee Mayor Jerrilea Crawford says in addition to the obvious hazards related to fireworks sparking wildfires, the ban was also enacted for a variety of other reasons.

"There are a lot of other factors which went in to the decision to ban fireworks, and those include public safety, nuisance from the noise, debris, animals being bothered, and kids that were hurting themselves with fireworks. So it was a multi-layered decision."

Since this is the first year that fireworks are not allowed in the city, East Wenatchee Police Chief Rick Johnson says his officers will be stressing education when contacting those who are using them. But he adds that citations are also a tool that is available for deterrence.

"We're going to be doing a lot of warnings and a lot of education this year to see if we can get compliance that way. What we'd prefer not to do is issue people fines, but there is a civil infraction which is available to police for the illegal discharging of fireworks. The first offense is $205 while the second offense is $359."

East Wenatchee has now joined other towns in Douglas County that have also banned the use and sales of fireworks, including Waterville and Mansfield.

The City of Bridgeport still allows the discharge of personal use fireworks, but only on July 3 and 4 between the hours of 1 p.m. and midnight.

Fireworks are completely prohibited in all unincorporated areas in Douglas County, as well as in neighboring Chelan County.

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