For me, when I heard about the change in date, it was no big deal, however it wasn't until someone asked me about what this meant for the 4th of July and fireworks, I started thinking, and asking a few questions.
So being the good Emergency Manager that I try to be, I reached out to the Clark County Fire Marshal, Jon Dunaway and Vancouver Fire Marshal Heidi Scarpelli to get the official and accurate answer.
From the county side, Fire Marshal Dunaway stated, " For now, fireworks season will continue as usual. We are watching fire conditions very closely." He suggested leaving the fireworks to the professionals and attend public displays rather than using consumer fireworks.
City of Vancouver Fire Marshal Heidi Scarpelli also stated the VFD will have fireworks patrols out in force this year. People should call 9-1-1 regarding complaints so they can be followed up on.
Now of course we realize many look forward to this time of year every year and will be purchasing consumer fireworks. We suggest the following safety measures be taken:
Legal fireworks: Buy only from a licensed fireworks stand with items clearly labeled with the name of the item, manufacturer and instructions for proper use. Firecrackers, bottle rockets, M-80s, M-100s and blockbusters are illegal and can cause serious injury or death.
Supervise children closely: Only adults should light fireworks. Do not allow young children to play with fireworks. Older children should only be permitted to use fireworks under adult supervision. Children must be at least 16 years old and present identification to legally purchase fireworks. Be vigilant about keeping matches, lighters and fireworks safely away from youngsters.
Tribal fireworks: Fireworks sold on tribal lands may not be legal off the reservation.
Always follow directions on the label: Even sparklers, which burn at more than 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, can be dangerous if used improperly. Light only one firework at a time and don’t try to re-light a “dud.” Protect your eyes and never have any portion of your body directly over fireworks.
Clear the lighting area: Light fireworks outdoors in a clear area at least 25 feet from people, houses, vehicles, dry leaves, grass and flammable materials. When you are done, be sure to soak your fireworks before disposing of them. Always keep a hose or bucket of water close by to extinguish any small, unintended fires. If clothes catch fire, remember to cover your face and STOP, DROP and ROLL until the fire goes out.
Keep your pets safe and secure indoors: Be sure to keep your pets indoors with curtains and windows closed. Be sure your pet’s collar is secure and license tag is current. If your pet is not currently licensed, get a license before fireworks go on sale June 28. If your pet gets loose, the license will help get your pet home and allow emergency medical care, if needed. If your pet goes missing, check with the Humane Society for Southwest Washington at (360) 693-4746.
Be a good neighbor: Pick up spent fireworks and dispose of them properly once they have cooled. Soaking used fireworks overnight in a bucket of water before placing them in the trash is a good idea. They should not be left in the street for sweepers, nor should they be left in rights-of-way.
Fireworks may be sold in unincorporated Clark County between: June 28 from noon to 11 pm; June 29 through July 4 from 9am to 11pm.
Fireworks sales in the City of Vancouver is three days long, from July 2 through July 4. Retail stands open at 9am and close at 11pm each day.