High fire risk prompts fireworks ban in Camas, Washougal

Fire chief says 'threat of fireworks causing a fire in these extreme conditions is too high to allow the use of fireworks this July Fourth'

Officials in Camas and Washougal have banned the use of fireworks a week ahead of the Fourth of July holiday due to a high fire risk. 

“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.”

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.