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Fireworks permits on sale from June 29

MEDIA RELEASE

The Fourth of July holiday weekend is approaching quickly and the Hawaii Fire Department would like to ensure everyone has a safe and memorable holiday and summer.

With the drier-than-normal weather and some areas of our island community experiencing extreme drought conditions, everyone’s help is needed to prevent possible wildfires.

If at all possible, avoid the use of consumer fireworks and take advantage of the scheduled fireworks displays being set up for the holiday evening.

The scheduled displays are as follows:

* Coconut Island in Hilo at 8 p.m.
* Barge off-shore Alii Drive in Kailua-Kona at 8:30 p.m.
* Queens’ Marketplace in Waikoloa at 8 p.m.

Although a new law was signed into effect by Gov. Linda Lingle on June 22, 2010, that would allow the counties to enact stricter rules and regulations regarding the use of fireworks, it would be very difficult to do so given the limited time to properly enact such rules for the Fourth of July weekend.

Stricter rules now also could result in other hazardous conditions such as the storage of fireworks that have already been shipped and received on our island.

In addition, the establishment of any new ordinances or regulations could benefit from public input and comment required for actions taken by the County Council and Mayor.

Therefore, the Hawaii Fire Department is making this plea for assistance this holiday weekend and really needs your help.

Fireworks and permit sales will begin Tuesday, June 29 at limited locations.

The sites are:

* Fireworks Administration Office at the County Building, 25 Aupuni Street, Suite 2501, Hilo, between Jun 29 and July 2 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily
* Fire Prevention Kona Office at Kona Service Center, Hanama Place, 75-5706 Kuakini Hwy., Suite 109, Kailua-Kona, between June 29 and July 2 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily
Pinky’s in Papaikou; and
* Thunder Fireworks, 75-1022 Henry Street, Kailua-Kona

Each permit, which costs $25, will entitle the holder to purchase 5,000 individual firecrackers. Permits will be issued to a person 18 years of age or older and are non‑transferable, and non-refundable.

Setting off of fireworks is allowable only between the hours of 1 p.m. and 9 p.m. Sunday, July 4. Permits, if purchased, should be visibly displayed at the site of use on the day at the time of the firing.

Persons who fail to follow all rules and regulations may have their permit revoked.

Fire Chief Daryl Oliveira reminds the public that it is illegal for anyone to:

* Remove the powder or pyrotechnic contents from any fireworks;
* Throw fireworks from a moving vehicle; or
* Set off any fireworks at any time not within the time periods as permitted;
* Set off any fireworks within 1,000 feet of any operating hospital, nursing home, home for the elderly or animal hospital;
* Set off any fireworks in any school building or on any school grounds and yards on any occasion; and
* Set off any fireworks on any highway, alley, street, sidewalk or other public way: in any park, or within 1,000 feet of a church during the periods when services are held.

Permits are not required for novelties and paperless firecrackers.

For more information on purchasing fireworks permits, or the use of fireworks, call the Fire Prevention Bureau at 932-2912 or 327-3546.

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