Clallam commissioners continue fireworks ordiance hearing

PORT ANGELES — Clallam County lawmakers have tabled a long-awaited fireworks ordinance because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The three commissioners Tuesday continued until June 9 a public hearing on a proposal to regulate consumer fireworks. The proposed county ordinance would be based on state fire protection levels.

No in-person attendance is allowed at commissioner meetings under Gov. Jay Inslee’s stay-home order. The public can view and participate in county meetings though online platforms.

“June 9 seems way too early because I doubt very seriously we’ll be able to have public participation that day except for probably through Bluejeans (.com) or something,” Commissioner Randy Johnson said.

Commissioners have been discussing consumer fireworks regulations for more than two years.

Initially, the board could not agree on how restrictive the rules should be.

The current proposal is a compromise between people who strongly feel consumer fireworks are a part of the Fourth of July tradition and others who feel fireworks pose too much fire risk.

Under the new proposal, fireworks would be prohibited when state Department of Natural Resources Industrial Fire Precaution Levels reach level 3, or moderate.

When fire danger is low, “safe and sane” consumer fireworks like fountains, spinners and noise-makers could be discharged from June 28 to July 5 in areas west of the Elwha River.

For the eastern half of the county, consumer fireworks could be lit when conditions allow on July 4 only.

Board Chairman Mark Ozias said the public hearing could be extended again if meeting attendance is still restricted June 9.

“If you’d rather punt it until later in summer, then that’s OK with me,” Ozias told Johnson.

“Or we can just see where we’re at in June.”

Johnson did not object to the June 9 hearing date, adding: “I think the likelihood is we’ll extend it one more time after that.”

The cities of Port Angeles and Sequim in Clallam County and Port Townsend in Jefferson County have each banned consumer fireworks.

Clallam County and the city of Forks rely on state law for fireworks regulations.


Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at

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