Small Neighborhood Sounds Off On Fireworks; Reflects Yakima Vall - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Small Neighborhood Sounds Off On Fireworks; Reflects Yakima Valley Problem

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WAPATO, WA. -- If you were in town on July 4th, whether you went to a fireworks show or not, you probably heard and saw a few of them going off.


These fireworks left behind from a 4th of July celebration in Wapato. No one was hurt and no fire was started yet some neighbors were still upset. Others, thought it was just a good safe time.


What's happening here in this neighborhood, is a perfect example of what's happening around the Yakima Valley.


Some would say it's a disaster waiting to happen. While others think it's a supervised good time. 


"I'm concerned about fire obviously, someone getting injured," Carlos Mendez said. "I see them letting children light off fireworks."


Carlos Mendez says he doesn't mind fireworks shows but Friday night in his Wapato neighborhood things got out of control. 


"Nine to nine-thirty, they start lighting off like crazy," Mendez said. "Pop, pop, pop. Like crazy. All over the place, all up and down the street."


Trevor Gaskin disagrees.


"Between here and the neighbors, from what I saw, everything seemed under control," Trevor said. "I mean we were having a great time."


Trevor got together with friends and family for the 4th. He said everyone in the neighborhood was well behaved. 


"Kids were supervised," Trevor said. "So we were handling the fireworks in a responsible nature."


Several different fireworks stands pop up around the valley around this time. But only a select few cities allow fireworks to be lit. This creates a problem for law enforcement.


"Just the amount of people with them," Sgt. Shawn Boyle said. "As we're driving down the road you see a lot of air bursts or the sounds of them. But actually catching someone in the act doing it, usually by the time we get there, there's just debris."


During the weekend, police scramble to keep up with the hundreds of extra calls. To oversimplify things, there are two different opinions.


"I think that people should finally accept that they shouldn't light fireworks at all and they should go to a public display," Carlos said.


"As long as there is somebody responsible and knows what they're doing and are prepared to handle the dangers that come with fireworks, then it's great fun for the family," Trevor said.


Some think it's tradition, while others think it's dangerous. No matter which you believe, this small neighborhood reflects, on a small scale, what the entire valley is dealing with.


No major damage was reported from these fireworks or any others used from around the Yakima Valley. But officials still say, with our dry brush, one big mistake could result it tragedy.


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