Fireworks snuffed out in Camas, Washougal

Local officials have temporarily banned fireworks discharge and sales ahead of Fourth of July holiday due to extreme fire risk

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A display of fireworks wait for customers in Clark County in 2019. (Photo courtesy of Amanda Cowan/The Columbian files)

Citing a higher than normal risk of fire, officials in Camas and Washougal have placed a temporary ban on the discharge and sale of fireworks ahead of the Fourth of July holiday.

“This was a very difficult decision to make, but in consideration of the elevated fire danger, it was deemed the only decision possible to ensure the safety of our neighborhoods, communities, and green spaces,” Camas-Washougal Fire Chief Nick Swinhart said in a news release issued Monday, June 28. “The threat of fireworks causing a fire in these extreme conditions is too high to allow the use of fireworks this July Fourth.”

City leaders said they realized the ban might negatively impact fireworks vendors and nonprofits that fundraiser through the sale of fireworks, but stressed that “safety is paramount in this situation” and encouraged Camas-Washougal residents to celebrate the July Fourth holiday without fireworks this year.

The cities of Camas and Washougal will fine individuals caught illegally discharging fireworks, with fines starting at $250.

“The penalties start at $250 for the first offense, $500 fine for a second offense,” Camas-Washougal Fire Marshal Ron Schumacher said. “There’s a $750 fine for a third offense and $1,000 fine for each subsequent offense within a three-year period.”

The cities join other jurisdictions in Southwest Washington, including Clark County, that have banned the discharge and sale of fireworks this month.

A burn ban on all outdoor recreational fires also is in effect in Camas and Washougal due to the high temperatures and increased risk of fire danger. All outdoor fires using wood as fuel are prohibited. The ban will remain in effect until further notice.