The state fire marshal’s office announced that the use and sale of fireworks in much of Alaska is suspended until further notice.That includes Haines and Skagway.
A far-reaching suspension of fireworks in Alaska threatens to extinguish the first Haines fireworks display since 2015. The Chamber of Commerce planned a big fireworks show this year.
“Well, sorry to be the Grinch,” said Ken Marsh, the public information officer for the Alaska State Troopers. He says the suspension includes municipal fireworks displays.
“Our resources are spread so thin dues to existing wildfire right now, we just can’t take the chance of more wildfires starting up,” he said.
“It’s really a public safety issue at this point.”
But Chamber of Commerce leader Tracey Harmon and local fireworks retailer Phil Wild are not giving up on the Olde Fashioned Fourth.
“The way of saving it was, the burn ban says you can’t do a fireworks show on any part of land, including the beach,” said Ward.
“The plan now is to put the fireworks show in the water. Like the salt water. In the ocean.”
The borough agreed to let them put the fireworks show on a float barge. But floating fireworks are still a violation of the ban–unless they are at least three miles from shore. Wild says that means his retail permit is also suspended and there will be no display out at 33 mile either. That is, unless it rains.
“We are trying really hard to get a fireworks show for our community, for the town. Unfortunately, weather just doesn’t wanna play with us this year… so far,” said Harmon.
She says any plan for a municipal fireworks show this year is contingent on the ban being lifted.