Lewiston-Clarkston Valley residents will have the opportunity to view the annual Fourth of July fireworks display Saturday night, but the pre-show and gathering at Clarkston High School won’t be part of this year’s celebration.
Clarkston officials said Adams Field will be off limits to the public because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the city will be educating folks about a new fireworks ordinance that only allows private displays from 9 a.m. to midnight inside city limits on the Fourth.
“The Clarkston Police Department’s primary goal on the Fourth of July is to ensure a safe holiday for all of our residents and visitors,” said Chief Joel Hastings. “The police department will have an increased police presence during the holiday, and will be out enforcing local and state fireworks laws.”
Neighboring jurisdictions — unincorporated Asotin County and the city of Asotin — have a different set of rules. Legal consumer fireworks can be discharged July 3-5. Across the Snake River in Lewiston, aerial fireworks are prohibited.
Many large displays have been canceled because of the coronavirus, including shows in McCall and Coeur d’Alene. Lewiston-Clarkston Valley officials are encouraging people to watch the Adams Field display from their cars or lawns while maintaining social distancing.
“It’s not going to be the same, but we want people to not only be safe with fireworks, but safe with their health,” said Asotin County Fire Chief Noel Hardin. “We are seeing an uptick in COVID cases around the region. With everyone getting together over the holiday, we could see more cases popping up from visitors outside the region.”
Illegal fireworks pose another problem. It’s best to purchase from stands in the community where you live, Hardin said, because the approved ones will be the only things on the shelves.
Asotin Police Chief Monte Renzelman said firecrackers, bottle rockets and missiles are illegal in Washington, along with homemade devices, M-80s and other items.
“Safety is of the most importance as any legal firework can become dangerous to person and property,” Renzelman said. “The safest plan is to view the public display.”
In Pullman, it is illegal to discharge fireworks until Friday, from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. On Saturday, the hours are extended to midnight.
Any discharge of fireworks outside of these time periods is a code violation and could result in a civil penalty of $100, Pullman police said in a news release. Possession of illegal fireworks is a criminal misdemeanor.
Officials are also asking residents to clean up any fireworks debris, and to make sure responsible adults are closely monitoring any fireworks activities. Many emergency room visits are caused by hot-burning sparklers in the hands of children, police said.
All Pullman school grounds are off limits to consumer displays, Chief Gary Jenkins said. Police officers will be actively patrolling for fireworks violations, and are instructed to assertively enforce the fireworks ordinance. Anyone who violates the law can expect a citation, the chief said.
Sandaine may be contacted at email@example.com or (208) 848-2264. Follow her on Twitter @newsfromkerri.
Clarkston: Fireworks allowed only from 9 a.m. to midnight Saturday.
Lewiston: Nonaerial fireworks are allowed through Sunday.
Moscow: Nonaerial fireworks are allowed through Sunday.
Pullman: Fireworks allowed from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to midnight Saturday.