The State Fire Marshal lifted the fireworks ban for Kodiak Island Borough over the weekend. Residents are now able to purchase and use fireworks until August 4.
“The ban was lifted on Saturday and we have been striving to get the word out to everyone,” Borough Manager Michael Powers said over the phone Monday morning. “I do know that Chief Mullican, when he got the word, let the fireworks people know and was trying to get the word out.”
The Borough Assembly voted on July 9 to allow a one-time 15-day extension to the summer fireworks use period once the ban had been lifted. The borough only allows fireworks twice a year, with the summer period between June 15 and July 15. The ban was in effect for a good chunk of that period, as well as over the July 4 holiday, and the extension is meant to make up for that. The extension began just after the ban lifted, according to borough Mayor Dan Rohrer. He said Kodiak residents can continue to safely enjoy fireworks through 11:30 am on Sunday, August 4.
The extension was a somewhat controversial move, with some residents complaining that fireworks cause disruption among residential areas and that an extension for use was unnecessary.
Even so, most of the assembly voted in favor of the extension, which they viewed as a trade-off for the time that the ban was in place when fireworks would normally be allowed. Rebecca Skinner was among the assembly members who sympathized with residents about the disruption that fireworks cause, even though she did vote in favor of the extension. She announced on July 9 and again at last week’s meeting that she would consider proposing a ban on fireworks specifically at Mill Bay Beach, while designating another fire-safe location where they would be allowed instead.
The fireworks ban was initially put into place on June 27 for many areas of the state, including most of Southcentral Alaska. The measure was intended to avoid worsening wildfire conditions during the hot, dry weather this summer.