Complete list of ‘Safe and Sane’ fireworks provided by both cities and fire department
WASHOUGAL — Celebrating New Year’s Eve with some festive displays of smoke and sparks has changed and is changing around the county. Most recent are the introduction of the “Safe and Sane” regulations in the city of Washougal.
In 2017, the city, much like Camas and Vancouver, passed legislation allowing for only certain types of fireworks to be bought and discharged by consumers on the Fourth of July and New Year’s Eve. The regulations have been updated and are available on the city’s website.
“This year only safe and sane fireworks can be used in the city limits of Washougal,” said Camas-Washougal Fire Department Fire Marshall, Ron Schumacher, in a video put out by the city. “This means any fireworks that fly, explode or travel more than one foot into the air or more than six feet on the ground are prohibited within Washougal city limits.”
Fireworks within Vancouver city limits are all banned after the 2016 legislation took effect. Ridgefield and Battle Ground still allow all nationally legal fireworks as does the county. Fireworks still permitted by the cities of Camas and Washougal are as follows:
- Snake-type fireworks
- Ground-spinning fireworks
- Most novelty fireworks
- Toy-trick noisemakers
- Some crackling items
These fireworks may be discharged in Camas and Washougal on Dec. 31 from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. Fireworks can be purchased in both cities from noon to 11 p.m. on Dec. 29 through Dec. 31. Fireworks now banned in the cities of Washougal and Camas are as follows:
- Aerial missiles and spinners
- Mortar-type fireworks
- Roman candle-types
- Any other device (combination or novelty) that is structurally or functionally similar
“It was politically motivated, you know, that’s what brought it to the attention of the Council. So, as far as the fire department goes, I could say anecdotally, we have a number of injuries, in both communities, that are probably similar,” said Camas-Washougal Deputy Fire Marshall Kevin Bergstrom. “Fires started by fireworks that aren’t Safe and Sane … that’s probably the predominance of what we’re talking about as far as what it does to help our department.”
Enforcement of the regulations will take the form of fines increasing in cost per number of offenses. The first offense will cost $250, the second $500, the third $750, and all others $1,000 per. All illegal fireworks may also be confiscated.
Much of these regulations were passed following instances of brush or house fires caused by fireworks. Airbourne fireworks, such as mortar shells, are more likely to start such fires due to the showers of sparks and embers dispersed from their blasts.
The Camas-Washougal Fire Department suggests following best practices when lighting off any fireworks this New Year’s Eve.
“Always read the instructions and use them on a flat level surface,” Schumacher said. “Stay about 20 feet away and have a bucket of water nearby. When you dispose of your fireworks, make sure you soak them in water and put them in a metal container. Never dispose of them in plastic or paper bags and never put them near your home.”
For more information concerning fireworks and where what kinds are legal, visit the Clark County Fireworks Info Page with a map and locator to determine regulations at your residence. Have a safe and Happy New Year from all of us at ClarkCountyToday.com.
“We easily coexist,” Bergstrom said. “I mean, obviously, we want folks to do it safely. We want adults to be supervising. We want adults to be doing any any lighting of fireworks and, you know, obviously utilizing fireworks that are legal in your community. It’s a time for celebration and as long as folks are using them safely and as the recommendations on the packaging, they should be able to use them without any ill effects.”