Vancouver, Wash. – New rules for fireworks go into effect this year for the unincorporated areas of Clark County. For the Independence Day holiday, fireworks can be used only from 9 am to midnight Thursday, July 4.
This is a change from last year when discharge of fireworks was permitted as early as June 28 in areas north of Northeast/Northwest 219th Street.
“This update makes the allowable time for fireworks discharge consistent for all county residents in the unincorporated area,” said Fire Marshal Jon Dunaway. “Even though fireworks are offered for sale starting on June 28, remember that they are not allowed to be used until July 4.” The county will have patrols out enforcing the fireworks laws. Illegal use of fireworks such as curfew or device type violation is subject to a $500 civil fine for first time offenders.
Fireworks also can be used from 6 pm Dec. 31 to 1 am Jan. 1 in unincorporated areas.
Vancouver has banned fireworks within its city limits. Clark County provides a handy online chart, indicating when fireworks can be used in different areas of the county. There is also an interactive map that allows anyone with an on-line device to quickly determine the rules for fireworks use based on an address anywhere in the county. Additionally, each sales location in the county is required to post signage outlining when fireworks can be used legally.
Residents and visitors are urged to celebrate the Fourth of July with extra caution because of the dry conditions throughout Clark County.
If you plan to buy fireworks, the best option is to purchase them locally from a stand inspected by the Clark County Fire Marshal’s Office. Fireworks purchased outside the county may not be legal locally.
A few important safety reminders:
- Always have a bucket of water and water hose ready to douse any fire.
- Assign a responsible adult to supervise fireworks use.
- Use fireworks outdoors in a clear area away from buildings, vehicles and dry vegetation.
- Never aim fireworks at people or structures.
- Never attempt to alter fireworks or relight “duds” that fail to ignite.
- Place used fireworks in a bucket of water to soak overnight before disposing of them. These devices can still be smoldering and could start a fire if placed in a trash receptacle.