Fuse lit again on Vancouver fireworks restrictions proposal

Fuse lit again on Vancouver fireworks restrictions proposal

VANCOUVER, Wash. - The fuse gets lit again on fireworks in the city and more restrictions could be on the way.

This time city councilors are looking at limiting the number of days you can buy them and light them off.

The proposal is different than the one the city considered just last June and it could be the compromise it is looking for.

Councilors brought the proposal up at Monday night's meeting so they could put it on the calendar for a public forum. Right away the sparks started flying.

Those mortars, roman candles and the high-flying fireworks that are not legal in Oregon are still legal in Washington.

Last spring Vancouver city councilors considered a ban on them but then decided against it. Their new idea: you can still have those fireworks but you only get three days to buy them instead of the seven you have now. And you only get one – July Fourth to shoot them off.

"It's wonderful to have the alternative to come up here to Vancouver and see the big boomers, but as far as the amount of days, if it disturbs the residents around here, I think they are the ones who should make the opinions known," said Oregon resident Holly Schoenbeck.

Schoenbeck doesn't have to worry about that. There's always plenty of racket about the rockets.

"As long as they're safe with it – I'm always on my kids to be careful. As long as they're safe with it, I'm OK with it," said Steve Taylor who doesn't like restrictions.

"If you're a dog owner, multi-days is hell," said Dale Thomas, who likes the idea of more restrictions. "We've seen animals jump through windows on the Fourth of July. So a limitation, I think, would be appropriate."

Washougal's the only other Clark County town with the one-day restriction. County rules are different too, which makes enforcement difficult.

With a public hearing set for Oct. 1, the council may have even more options to think about.
"I think designated zones help as well, too," said Roy Wilson. "If they have a designated area to light off the fireworks – that way everybody can cut down on costs and come together."

Nonprofit groups that use the fireworks stands as their major fundraiser think the shorter selling period could hurt their profits.

This new ordinance would use $10,000 of fireworks sales money to educate people about the change. If it's passed, it won't go into effect until 2014.