Vancouver residents consider fireworks ban

Credit: KGW TV

Vancouver residents consider fireworks ban

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by Pat Dooris, KGW Staff

kgw.com

Posted on July 8, 2011 at 8:24 PM

Updated Monday, Jul 11 at 9:00 AM

VANCOUVER -- Vancouver is the last big city in Washington to allow personal fireworks.

Some residents, like Juret Walker, would like fireworks banned there too.

“I would. I would,” Walker said. “I know that goes against a lot of what people living in Vancouver are holding on to."

The City of Vancouver has already cracked down on personal fireworks, shortening the number of days they can be used--down to five--and eliminating New Year's Eve from the list.

But its easy to find residents like Tammy Engelman who want even more restrictions. She’d like personal fireworks to be legal on one day only, the fourth of July.

"Because it's noisy; it disrupts your family," Engelman said. "If you have kids or pets, it just keeps going and I think its wrong."

Her friend Necia Gannon agrees.

“Its fun on that night to go out in the neighborhood and watch everybody get together and shoot them off,” she said. “But not for days on end before hand."

On the other side, there are people like Kelsey McCray who don’t want fireworks restricted.

"I don't think they should be outlawed because they're fun and Independence Day is about independence," she said, "and it would be stupid to take away our fireworks when we've done them for centuries."

Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt said a fireworks ban is not likely. “The use of fireworks is a long tradition in our community,” Leavitt said. “And I think its really a tough sell to talk about a complete ban."

Leavitt also pointed out that the sale of fireworks helps support many non profits in the community. He added that the city laid off 200 workers last year and simply does not have enough people to enforce a ban.

"There are folks out there that are going to break laws no matter what we say or what we do in regards to personal fireworks," Leavitt said.

The city council will hear fireworks complaints at its next meeting Monday, July 25. It will also hold a public work session on the issue in September.

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