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Gastineau Channel fireworks show will go on, but personal use fireworks banned in Juneau

July 1, 2019 – FYI, News

The annual Gastineau Channel July 4th fireworks show will go on as scheduled, according to Capital City Fire/Rescue Chief Rich Etheridge. The use of personal fireworks, however, are banned in Juneau to comply with the Alaska State Fire Marshal’s Office’s immediate suspension on the sale and use of fireworks across much of Alaska due to heightened fire danger.

“We ask that people in Juneau adhere to the ban on personal use fireworks. In Juneau, we’re not used to thinking about outdoor fire safety. Although we live in a rainforest, the threat of wildland fire is a very real danger. We are in the middle of a drought and that changes the dynamics of our rainforest,” Etheridge said.

The July 4th fireworks show, which takes place the night of July 3rd, is run by volunteer group Juneau Festival Association. Etheridge says the show is permitted by the City and Borough of Juneau, has gone through a separate permitting process by the state, and has several safeguards, including a pyrotechnician’s license, insurance policies, and approved detailed plans regarding fireworks height and fallout. Both the State Fire Marshal’s Office and state Division of Forestry are aware of the permitted show.

In contrast, use of personal fireworks in Juneau won’t be permitted during the July 4th holiday and into the foreseeable future. On June 27, the Alaska State Fire Marshal’s Office implemented an immediate suspension on the sale and use of fireworks across much of Alaska, including Juneau, citing high to very high fire danger and a shortage of firefighting resources in the state. “… the safety of Alaskans and visitors is paramount. The suspension of the sale and use of fireworks will assist in protecting life and property,” said State Fire Marshal Richard Boothby. The State Fire Marshal requires CBJ to comply with this ban on personal use fireworks.

For more information, contact Capital City Fire/Rescue at 586-5322.