DIY fireworks at the Port

The night of July 4, the Port of Klickitat will host its annual do-it-yourself fireworks event at Bingen Point.

With the assistance and cooperation of the cities of Bingen and White Salmon, the Klickitat County Sheriff’s Office, Fire District 13, and a number of other volunteers, the Port has provided a safe location for residents to use and enjoy their fireworks since 2004.

“Our goal is for everyone to have a good time without placing themselves or others at risk,” states Lane Goodenough, the port’s maintenance lead. “That’s why we remind visitors that alcohol, drugs, weapons, pets, and illegal fireworks are prohibited, minors must be accompanied by an adult, and the use of fireworks is strictly limited to the hours of 8 to 11 p.m. on July 4 and only in the designated area. We also ask participants to dispose of spent fireworks in the dumpsters and trash receptacles provided at the event site.”

The Port prohibits the use of fireworks anywhere on its properties except on Independence Day between the hours of 8 and 11 p.m. when it allows visitors to use legal fireworks in Sailboard Park. Though the Port provides a location and coordinates the volunteers that help support the event, it neither puts on a traditional fireworks show nor controls how visitors set off their fireworks.

“It’s a strictly do-it-yourself party,” said Port Executive Director Marc Thornsbury. “We expect attendees to use their fireworks safely, courteously, and responsibly.”

Washington law (Chapter 70.77 RCW) controls the use of fireworks and permits many common types including fountains, Roman candles, shells, mortars, and sparklers. However, not all fireworks sold are legal to use. “Each year a few people purchase bottle rockets, firecrackers, missiles, M-80s, M-100s, or sky rockets mistakenly believing that if they can be purchased, they are legal to use,” explained Thornsbury.

However, because federal and tribal laws are not as strict, it is possible to legally purchase certain fireworks on federal or tribal lands, then drive across an invisible line and suddenly find the same fireworks illegal to possess or use. Unfortunately, many only find out when they arrive at the event and have these items confiscated.

State law makes it “unlawful for any person to discharge or use fireworks in a reckless manner which creates a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to another person or damage to the property of another.”

Violations of state statute, county ordinance, or Port regulations can result in citation and/or removal from Port property.

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