New city fireworks ordinances mean residents will have fewer days to light fireworks within Blaine city limits.
Blaine City Council passed an ordinance last year that restricted the use of fireworks to 9 a.m. through 11 p.m. July 1 through July 3, 9 a.m. to midnight on July 4, and 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. on July 5. This year will be the first Fourth of July subject to the new regulations.
The previous regulations followed statewide statutes and allowed fireworks use from June 28 through July 5. Blaine police spokesperson Lisa Moeller said the change was the result of concerns expressed by Blaine residents and Blaine City Council members.
The new regulations also limit when fireworks can be sold in the city to between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m., July 1 through July 4, when sales were previously allowed from June 28 to July 6. The updated laws also stipulate that fireworks must be at least 300 feet from gas stations and limit the number of fireworks stands from one per 1,000 to one per 2,000 people.
All violations of the city’s new fireworks ordinances are gross misdemeanors, which require a court appearance but have no minimum fine or jail time. Moeller said most violations of regulations end in verbal warnings rather than citations.
“They’re not trying to ruin anyone’s fun, just keep the peace,” Moeller said.
Since 2009, documented cases of illegal use or discharge of fireworks have increased 25 percent from 12 cases in 2009 to 15 in 2011. Documented cases of illegal fireworks possession have decreased, however, from six in 2009 to two in 2011.
For information on illegal fireworks, visit the state fire marshal’s website.