Fire officials encouraging community to celebrate the 4th of July safely
YAKIMA COUNTY, Wash. -- It is illegal to set off fireworks throughout most of Yakima County but that doesn't mean you can't celebrate the Fourth of July.
State Fair Park is hosting it’s annual Fourth of July celebration. Organizers say community members can expect music, food, games, a carnival and of course fireworks.
State Fair Park General Manager Greg Stewart said they host the annual festival so everyone can celebrate safely.
"One of the reasons that the Fourth of July has been so well accepted here and supported is it's a safe way to see and celebrate the fourth," Stewart said. "We're hoping and we think that it does keep the number of fires down because people aren't shooting them off in their backyards."
It is illegal to buy, sell and set off fireworks in Yakima and throughout most of Yakima County. However, if you plan on setting off fireworks yourself, firefighters are asking you do so safely and legally in one of the allowed cities which are Granger, Moxee, Zillah, Harrah and Mabton.
"Get out to areas that don't have any dry fuel in them," Incident Management PIO Ben Shearer said. "Make sure the areas are well protected. Make sure you have a water source out there."
Shearer said if an accident does happen call 911 immediately.
"If you're trying to battle that yourself and you're delaying calling 911, that can become a really big fire before crews get there," he said.
The Fourth of July festival at the fairgrounds is free and starts at noon, with fireworks beginning around 10 p.m.
State Fair Park organizers said they are expecting over 25,000 people to come celebrate and are anticipating heavy traffic. They're providing free shuttle services that will pick up people at Target, Eisenhower High School and Wide Hollow Elementary.