Spokane, Wash. - Fireworks are illegal in Spokane and most of Spokane County. Law enforcement officers in the area say, however, fireworks infractions are not easy to ticket.
Officers say the sheer number of complaints about illegal fireworks - usually in the hundreds on July 4th - prohibits them from chasing down each one.
The numbers show it.
From 2010 to 2012 in Spokane County, few violations were cited on Independence Day for each of those years. Officers issued five citations in 2010, two in 2011, and four in 2012 for the entire county.
Citations were even fewer in neighboring Kootenai County. Officers issued just one citation there for the unlawful use of fireworks since 2010.
Within the city limits of Coeur d’Alene, police cited two people for fireworks violations on July 4th, 2010, but police received more than 200 complaints that day.
Across county lines, law enforcement officers say their first priority remains emergency calls - and fireworks complaints generally do not fall into that category. In Spokane County, officers must witness a firework violation to write a citation.
Police say, though, the laws are in place for citizens’ safety and will still be enforced.
Fireworks are illegal in Spokane, Spokane Valley, Cheney, Liberty Lake and Millwood. They are legal on private property in Medical Lake, Deer Park, Airway Heights, and Stevens County. Fireworks are also legal in Coeur d’Alene.