City of Vancouver considering banning high-flying fireworks

City of Vancouver considering banning high-flying fireworks »Play Video

VANCOUVER, Wash. – The Vancouver City Council is proposing to snuff out loud, high-flying fireworks.

The city is sort of the last holdout in Washington's bigger cities when it comes to bigger fireworks. Those cities, including Seattle and Spokane, have banned the kind of fireworks, like Roman candles and mortars, residents in Vancouver can still legally use.

But Vancouver has gradually put more restrictions on buying and using fireworks, which has cut down the noise complaints and 911 calls.

In 2009, Oregon, which has tighter restrictions on fireworks, reported 200 fireworks fires. In Washington there were five times as many and almost 10 times as many injuries.

While a lot of people straddle the line when it comes to fireworks, others are just flat out confused as to whether they live in the city limits or not. That confusion stems from the fact that city boundaries run right through many neighborhoods. That means there could be one set of rules for people who live on one side of the street and a different set of rules for people who live on the other side of the same street.

If the City Council approves the ban, those within the city limits would be able to use sparklers, smoke bombs, ground blooms and fountains – or fireworks that don't fly higher than a foot in the air and scoot 15 feet across the ground. But like in Portland, those mortars and Roman candles would be illegal.

While a ban would bring some peace and quiet for many, those who make money from the sale of fireworks may make a lot of noise over the ban.

One family honors their fallen soldier, U.S. Army Sgt. John "Kyle" Daggett, by raising money for war veterans through the sale of fireworks at their stand. If the ban goes into effect, they won’t be able to make the $30,000 donation they did last year.

"Had Kyle survived his injuries, he would have needed specialized housing," said Tracy Phillips who runs the stand. "One of the organizations we've supported is Homes for our Troops – to build specialized housing for severely injured veterans."

If there is a ban, it won't happen until 2013. What will happen is a public forum June 18.