Some people love them, others absolutely hate them. It’s a touchy subject for many. The issue typically comes to a head right around this time of year as fireworks sales begin in preparation for the Independence Day holiday, and the community is forced to deal with those who use the explosives both wisely, and not-so-wisely.
After several years of hearing complaints from the public about fireworks, last year the Camas City Council tackled the issue head-on. The effort included opportunities for community input, discussion, and deliberation in the hopes of finding a happy medium where citizens who wanted to could enjoy personal use fireworks, and those who wanted nothing to do with them would at least get a little relief in the form of a shorter time period when fireworks are legal.
The tighter regulations the elected leaders came up with take effect this Fourth of July season, and time will tell if the changes will make a difference in the Camas community. Fire department officials have been working to educate the public on the new rules and law enforcement will be out and about this weekend and on the Fourth of July to make sure they are followed.
In the end, it really comes down to people having common sense and respect for their neighbors when using fireworks. Statistics prove though, that when it comes to fireworks common sense isn’t so common. According to the State Fire Marshal’s office, 476 fireworks related injuries and fires were reported by fire departments and hospitals in 2011.
The Fourth of July is intended to be a celebration of our country and all of the freedoms it provides, and with the help of regulations that are in place it should be a celebration that concludes without injury to people or property.