News, views and advertising of the Grand Coulee Dam Area

Fireworks options limited this year

The Fourth of July fast approaching, but don’t plan on setting off fireworks from North Dam again this year; it’s still unavailable as a launching location.

The chamber of commerce’s Festival of America event, typically held below the Grand Coulee Dam, with fireworks launched from it, also will not be held this year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Lighting of personal fireworks from North Dam, a popular spot for years, will not be available, as it was not last year. 

“Last year on July 4, fireworks were not allowed on top of North Dam because fire restrictions were in place,” said U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Public Information Officer Lynne Brougher. “In order to be able to shoot fireworks from the top of North Dam, a permit is required. No one has applied to Reclamation for a permit.” 

The USBR has an agreement with the Bureau of Land Management for the BLM to assist with wildland fire suppression on Reclamation lands, but the decision is ultimately USBR’s, said BLM Spokane District spokesman Jeff Clark.

Additionally, the city of Grand Coulee allows no fireworks in city limits, according to Chief Ryan Fish of the Grand Coulee Volunteer Fire Department.

Electric City follows state law which allows fireworks to be lit within the city limits from noon to 11 p.m. from June 28 until July 4, when they’re allowed from noon to midnight.

Electric City had earlier this year dismissed the idea of passing a more restrictive fireworks ordinance, partly because the fireworks that cause complaints, such as rockets that may land on a roof, are already illegal.

In 2019, during discussions about a possible ordinance, citizen and firefighter Ken Dexter said another concern was that people would drive outside the city, into the dry brush and grass, and light fireworks where fire is more of a hazard. 

The city of Coulee Dam forbids fireworks year-round.

Elmer City, being on the Colville Indian Reservation, follows tribal code, which restricts ignition of fireworks to Round Lake, near Inchelium, and to Omak Park. Resolution 2020-306 passed by the Colville Business Council approves “the sales and ignition of fireworks for the Fourth of July 2020.”


Reader Comments(0)