New Asotin County Firework Ordinance now in effect
CLARKSTON, WA —
The Fourth of July is right around the corner, but with the fun and celebration comes some rules and regulations.
A year ago, Asotin County passed a new ordinance to help cut down on confusion, by creating a countywide standard for when and how long fireworks can be used. That ordinance is now in effect and officials will be enforcing it.
The days and hours people were allowed to light off fireworks around the Fourth of July used to vary city-to-city, but last year Asotin County passed an ordinance to consolidate the rules and cut down on confusion.
"The communities all got together and said we wanna be on the same page, and so, every one passed ordinances,” said Fire Chief Noel Hardin, Asotin County Fire District #1.
Now there is a countywide standard.
"Starting this year, you can only discharge fireworks on the 3rd, the 4th and the 5th up until 11 o'clock on the 5th and that's it,” said Fire Chief Hardin.
And there is a penalty for not obeying the ordinance.
"$200 for the first offense, there'll be $500 second offense, and $1,000 on top of that,” said Asotin County Sheriff John Hilderbrand.
And along with Asotin County Sheriff’s Office, other local agencies will also be enforcing it. The city of Asotin plans to use this year as a chance to educate on the new ordinance.
Asotin Police Chief Monte Renzelman said, "So yes we are going to be enforcing it, as far as making sure that it's followed. Citations are going to be on a discretionary basis."
A main reason for restricting the days to the third, fourth and fifth is the risk of fires. The amount of rain and snow we had this spring has caused grasses and weeds to flourish, and as it gets hotter, they dry out.
"We've got a lot of fuel that's drying out fast, and really any little spark could get a fire going, and so that was one of the main reasons for cutting down on the number of days that people could utilize fireworks,” said Fire Chief Hardin.