Washougal Council eyes changes to fireworks laws

Decision could be made May 28

There could be a reduction in the number of days that fireworks can be sold inside the city limits of Washougal, starting in 2014.

Ron Schumacher, fire marshal and deputy chief of fire prevention for the Camas-Washougal Fire Department, is proposing the reduction.

It is currently legal to sell fireworks from noon to 11 p.m., June 28, from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., June 29 through July 4, and from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., on July 5, as well as from noon to 11 p.m., from Dec. 27 through Dec. 31.

The proposal would limit sales from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., July 2 through July 4, and from noon to 11 p.m., Dec. 29 through Dec. 31.

The city’s municipal code states fireworks may only be discharged on July 4, from 9 a.m. to midnight, and Dec. 31, from 6 p.m. to Jan. 1, at 1 a.m.

“Though we have limited the number of days that fireworks can be used to just July 4th, we still find fireworks being displayed for several days prior to the 4th,” Schumacher said. “Limiting the number of days that fireworks can be purchased will hopefully reduce the amount of fireworks being used.”

The idea of reducing the number of days that fireworks can be purchased was brought forth by Mayor Sean Guard, and it was supported by the city’s public safety committee.

City Councilwoman Connie Jo Freeman said during yesterday’s workshop she is patriotic, but fireworks discharged at 11 p.m. keep her and her husband awake when they need to wake up for work the next day at 5 a.m.

“It’s about sleep for me,” she said.

In Camas’ city limits, the sale, purchase and discharge of consumer fireworks are allowed July 1 through July 3, between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m., and July 4, between 9 a.m. and midnight. On July 5, fireworks can only be purchased and sold — discharge is not allowed.

The Washougal City Council could decide to reduce the fireworks sales hours during the meeting Tuesday, May 28, at 7 p.m.