The Sheriff's Corner


By Wahkiakum County Sheriff Mark Howie

Regular life is coming back!

I’m not sure if I know what “regular” life is anymore, but one thing is for certain: Summer is here, the sun is out, people are everywhere, kids are playing outside with friends again, events are happening, fishers are in boats and along the banks by the droves, honeybees are making a comeback, and the theaters are open!

First, I want to give an update on the rash of car prowls we had in April. In one week, we had four car prowls that occurred in the Westend of the county. All victims had left their vehicles unlocked. Once we saw this uptick, we immediately got the word out to residents to secure vehicles and call in any suspicious activity. Since that time, we have had no car prowls reported. I believe a combination of getting the word out, giving crime prevention tips, enhanced patrol, and the community looking out for one another as well as contacting the sheriff’s office of suspicious activity put a big curtail on future thefts. We had a lot of tips and narrowed down a few suspects who we are continuing to keep an eye on until we have probable cause to arrest.

It’s time for a reminder about fireworks safety, and especially this year with the extra dry weather, it is extremely important that caution is taken when setting them off. Here are the state laws regarding discharging fireworks as well as some safety tips from

Consumer fireworks may be used or discharged each day between:

June 28 - Noon to 11 p.m.

June 29 through July 3 - 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.

July 4 - 9 a.m. to midnight.

July 5 - 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.


December 31 - 6 p.m. until 1 a.m. January 1.

Only light fireworks on a hard flat and level surface to ensure stability. Do not set off fireworks directly on grass. Instead, use a wooden or board of non-flammable material.

When selecting an area, make sure it’s clear of structures, vehicles, trees, dry grass, brush and other flammable items.

When lighting fireworks, never put your head or any other part of your body over it.

Perhaps most important, keep water everywhere. A garden hose, water bucket and fire extinguisher could come in handy, if something goes wrong.

Keep house pets inside before the fireworks start. The highest number of missing or found domestic animals are from July 2 through July 4 every year.

Finally, as your sheriff, I have witnessed endless kindness and compassion in our communities during the past year. Covid-19 put the nation to a test for sure, but to see people reaching out to others and giving a helping hand to neighbors or those in need was really inspiring. The word “resilience” is thrown around a lot. Wahkiakum County folks not only have resiliency, but also imagination. To not just “make do with what we have,” but to make life a little better for those who may have been suffering more than ourselves. I saw so many random acts of kindness toward others and creative ways to keep kids’ morale going in such dark times. My hat’s off to our county and all the good people we have.

We here at The Wahkiakum County Sheriff’s Office wish all our residents and businesses a safe and happy summer!

Printed as a public service. --ed.


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