LIHU’E — Concerned chronic dry weather conditions could trigger fires,
Kaua’i Fire Department brass are asking residents to use caution when lighting
fireworks during the July 4th weekend.
“We get related brush fires from
fireworks, especially with these dry conditions,” said Kaua’i Fire Chief
Sproat and Capt. Mike Kano, who heads the KFD Prevention
Bureau, said they also are concerned residents will hoard fireworks before a
new fireworks law goes into effect July 6.
This could be disastrous for
residents who do so, Sproat said.
“It (aerial fireworks) is highly
flammable, explosive and dangerous, especially in big amounts when people
hoard,” Sproat said. “And they shouldn’t be doing that.”
officials are equally concerned about the sale of aerial fireworks, which are
illegal, but popular. The fireworks are those that rise more than 12 feet from
the ground after they are lit.
KFD has begun checking stores and firework
outlets for the sale of these types of fireworks, Kano said. So far, no
businesses have been cited.
Related to the new firework law, Sproat said he
and his counterparts on O’ahu, Big Island and Mau’i have reservations about the
new law because some of the legislation’s language is weak
“We don’t have
the final version that is legally tight,” Sproat said. “The law has legal
questions that need to be answered.”
Some of the key parts of the new
* Requires a $25 permit to burn 5,000 firecrackers during one
* Limits the sale to packet sizes of 5,000 firecrackers or
* Changes the time for use of non-aerial fireworks on Chinese New
Year’s Day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on July 4th from 1 p.m. to 9 pm.
Restricts the issuance of a permit to use for cultural purposes outside of the
periods for New Year’s, Chinese New Year’s and July 4th.
purchase to five days before the events.
* Clarifies that only persons who
have obtained public display permits are allowed to buy and use aerial common
* Requires the facility in which fireworks are to be stored to
meet state and county fire and safety codes.
The new law, for instance,
doesn’t spell out which government agency will issue the permits for the sale
of fireworks. On Kaua’i, the law has been presented to the Kaua’i County
Attorney’s Office for a legal opinion, Sproat said.
Sproat said and other
fire chiefs in the state also are asking their respective legal counsel for
The impetus for the legislation – approved by the state
Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Ben Cayetano – came about after
residents complained smoke from fireworks lit during recent New Year’s Even
celebration created fire hazards and respiratory problems.
new law is good in that it will exact “meaningful” penalties against violators,