Fireworks sales for Fourth of July begin Monday in unincorporated Clark County, though a recent heat wave and drought conditions have raised concerns.
The county’s fireworks laws, which were updated ahead of the 2019 summer holiday, allow sales between June 28 and July 4. They can be discharged between 9 a.m. and midnight on the holiday.
Using illegal fireworks, or any type outside of permitted times, can lead to a $500 civil fine for first-time offenders in unincorporated areas of the county.
Allowed fireworks types and times vary by jurisdiction.
Vancouver, for instance, has banned them, while Washougal allows only Class C fireworks — ones that travel no more than 1 foot into the air or spray sparks no more than 6 feet above the ground. La Center and Ridgefield banned the use of fireworks Friday due to heat and fire danger.
The Clark County Fire Marshal’s Office recommends the following steps to use fireworks safely:
- Always have a bucket of water and water hose ready to douse any fire.
- Assign a responsible adult to supervise fireworks use.
- Use fireworks outdoors in a clear area away from buildings, flammable objects, vehicles and dry vegetation.
- Never aim fireworks at people or structures.
- Never attempt to alter fireworks or relight “duds” that fail to ignite.
- Place used fireworks in a bucket of water, which should always be kept nearby, to soak overnight before disposing of them.
- Never allow young children to handle fireworks.
- Don’t use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol.
- Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear.
- Never hold lighted fireworks in your hands.
- Never light them indoors.
- Never ignite devices in a container.
- Only light one device at a time and maintain a safe distance after lighting.