Fireworks hearing tonight at City Hall

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The Vancouver City Council will take testimony tonight on a proposal to limit personal fireworks use to the Fourth of July.

Currently, residents can use fireworks July 1 to July 4, and they can be sold within city limits for seven days, June 28 to July 4.

The proposed ordinance would shorten the window fireworks could be sold to three days, July 2 to July 4.

If approved, the new law would take effect in 2014.

The hearing is expected to draw a capacity crowd to the meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 415 W. Sixth St.

Earlier this year, the city council considered banning all but “safe and sane” fireworks — the same policy used in Oregon — but backed down after a lengthy public hearing.

According to a staff report prepared for the council, reducing the fireworks season would decrease the risk of fires and the number of noise complaints the city receives while still allowing non-profit organizations to sell fireworks and letting residents celebrate the Fourth by discharging fireworks.

The report acknowledges the drawbacks: organizations likely won’t raise as much money and the law will be even more inconsistent with the law in some cities and unincorporated Clark County. In those places, fireworks may be sold and discharged from June 28 through July 4.

County commissioners have shown zero interest in revisiting the county’s policy on fireworks.