Camas city councilors voted Monday to limit firework use to two days per year starting next year.
The city will allow residents to discharge fireworks from 9 a.m. until midnight on July 4, and from 6 p.m. Dec. 31 until 1 a.m. Jan. 1. Previously, the city allowed firework use on July 3, as well. The new regulations go into effect in 2019, and passed 5-2, with councilors Melissa Smith and Greg Anderson opposing.
“We want to continue to celebrate the holiday, but we heard people loud and clear about the ones who don’t like it,” City Administrator Pete Capell said. “They really want it aggressively enforced so people are not shooting off fireworks outside of allowable days and hours.”
To help combat that, the councilors voted for another ordinance Monday night allowing the city’s fire marshals, police officers and code enforcement officials to issue citations to anyone discharging fireworks at times they’re not supposed to. A first citation will cost the offender $250, a second citation will cost $500, a third will cost $750 and any additional time after that within a three-year period will cost $1,000.
Capell said the city’s two fire marshals are out in the community extensively around the Fourth of July, but they previously had to call police officers if they saw someone setting off fireworks outside of the legal days and times.
That ordinance goes into effect five days after it is posted, meaning it is expected to be in place in time for this year’s Fourth of July celebration.
The councilors voted unanimously on the new citation ordinance.
Camas’ vote follows Clark County and Battle Ground officials both voting to limit firework use in their respective jurisdictions starting next year. Earlier this month, the Clark County Council voted 3-2 to limit firework use in all unincorporated areas from 9 a.m. to midnight on July 4. In May, Battle Ground city councilors voted 4-3 in favor of limiting the discharging of fireworks to July 3 and 4.
At their meeting Thursday night, Ridgefield city councilors are expected to vote on possibly restricting the days and times and/or the kinds of fireworks residents can use.