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Dear Editor,

Last week, media outlets reported that we are heading into a historic dry spell this spring and summer. We had the fourth-driest March and April since record-keeping began in 1895.

I live on Camano in an area of grass and woods, and every fireworks season I live in fear of reckless fireworks starting a disastrous fire. Those of us who have lived here a while can remember a fireworks-started fire on the steep hillsides above one of our waterfront communities at the foot of a steep bluff. Our fire department was severely challenged to control and extinguish that blaze.

And then there is the health concern: the clouds of fireworks smoke that some living creatures are forced to breathe. Most fireworks are made overseas and contain chemicals that in this country are known to be carcinogens.

I know that this suggestion will be met with a lot of push-back and disdain by those who cherish their right to pollute the night skies, but I believe the time has come to banish fireworks from Island County.

Breathing the smoke from fireworks is a health hazard, and careless fireworks could start a near-uncontrollable fire and cause enormous grief, possible loss of life and costly property damage.

If you think the state Department of Natural Resources firefighters will come running, think again: they will be, once again, understaffed and overwhelmed, fighting near-uncontrollable forest fires elsewhere.

The Island County commissioners should ban fireworks.

Lawrence Baum

Camano Island

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