VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN) — Starting July 5, personal fireworks are officially banned in in Vancouver city limits.
As fireworks tents are packing up for the season, some like Tony Conner are lamenting the fact that hefty fines will soon come with using or selling fireworks.
“I think it should be changed,” Conner told KOIN 6 News.
Despite the critics, deputy fire marshal Chad Lawry says residents must abide by the city’s new “zero tolerance” policy.
“That was the mandate from the city administration, zero tolerance,” Lawry said. “It doesn’t feel good writing a citation to a family just enjoying themselves, that’s why we put a lot of time and money into education so we don’t have to face that situation.”
So far, Vancouver fire marshals have written nearly 50 citations for fireworks. The number is slightly up from the same time last year.
To cite you for fireworks, the fire marshal needs to see you light them or you must have them in your possession. If you’re with a group of people and nobody admits to using fireworks, the property owner can be fined.
If you’re cited for fireworks, you face a $250 fine for the first offence, $500 fine for the second and $1,000 for a third. For fireworks that are illegal in Washington State, the fines are $500, $1,000 and $1,500 respectively.
The fire marshals handle all fireworks-related calls.
“There is a lot of other calls for service we deal with which has nothing to do with fireworks, that’s why the police department doesn’t do anything with those,” said Kim Kapp with Vancouver PD. “It’s not a police issue, it’s a fire marshal/fire department call for service.”
Conner Filbin, manager of the St. Mean Gene Fireworks Tent in Clark County feels they’ve had a good year because people are looking for places outside Vancouver to buy their fireworks.