Maui Fireworks Festivities: Dry Weather Cause for Concern

December 20, 2011, 5:24 PM HST · Updated December 30, 11:49 AM
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Fireworks on Maui. Photo by Wendy Osher.

By Wendy Osher

In an effort to ensure a safe and enjoyable New Year’s celebration, officials with the Maui Fire Department are urging the public to take proper precautions.

“Although we have had some heavy rains recently, for the most part, this past year has been very dry, so the threat of wildfires is still a major concern,” said Maui Fire Capt. Paul Haake.

The best way to stay safe is not to use fireworks at all, said Maui Fire officials.

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3 Public Fireworks Displays in Maui County

Prevention bureau authorities asked the public to consider leaving fireworks to the professionals instead, noting three public displays planned at midnight to ring in the New Year, including the following:

  • Hana – below Fagan’s Cross
  • Kihei – barge offshore fronting the Grand Wailea Hotel
  • Lanai – Manele Bay Hotel

Retailers Begin Fireworks Sales After Christmas

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The first day of fireworks sales in Maui County is the day after Christmas, on Monday, December 26, 2011.

Novelty fireworks such as sparklers, snakes, fountains and cylindrical or cone fountains which emit effects not higher than 12 feet off the ground do not require permits.

The list of retailers selling permit-required firecrackers include: all Foodland stores, all Times supermarkets, the Napili Market, Pine Isle Market on Lanai, and Misaki’s and Take’s Variety on Molokai.

How to Obtain a Fireworks Permit in Maui County

Fireworks permits are required to purchase the firecracker-type of fireworks, and are good for the purchase of up to 5,000 firecrackers.

Permit applicants must be 18 years or older and show proof of age at the time of permit processing.

There is no limit to the number of permits a person may purchase, with each permit priced at $25.

The Department’s Fire Prevention Bureau will begin issuing permits on Thursday, December 22 at their office on Manea Place in Waikapu.  Permits will also be available beginning on Friday, December 23, at the County Parks Permit offices on Molokai and at the Lahaina Civic Center.

All three locations will have permits for sale through Friday, December 30, 2011.

Lanai residents can purchase permits from December 26-31, 2011 at Pine Isle Market.

Permits are payable by either check or money order to the County of Maui. Cash only will be accepted at the Maui Fire Prevention Bureau and at Lanai’s Pine Isle Market.

* County offices are closed on the 26th because Christmas day falls on a Sunday.*

Maui County Fireworks Rules and Prohibitions:

Officials with the Maui Fire Department ask the public to be cautious and to consider the dry conditions.

If using fireworks, Haake said, “use common sense, and watch out for each other.”

Rules in relation to fireworks in Maui County include:

  • Fireworks and firecrackers can only be legally set off from 9 p.m. New Year’s Eve to 1 a.m. New Year’s Day.
  • Setting off fireworks outside designated times is punishable by law. Violators are subject to fines of up to $2,000.
  • Aerial fireworks are illegal and extremely dangerous. Importing and selling aerial fireworks without a permit is a Class C Felony.

General Prohibitions include the following:

  • It is unlawful to remove or extract pyrotechnic contents.
  • It is unlawful to throw any ignited fireworks from a moving vehicle.
  • It is unlawful to set off fireworks within 1000 feet of health care facilities and facilities for animals.
  • It is unlawful to set off fireworks by schools.
  • It is unlawful to set off fireworks on public roads, in County parks, at County facilities, cane fields, or places of worship.
  • It is unlawful for any person without a permit to set off, ignite, discharge or otherwise cause to explode any fireworks within 500 feet from any hotel.
  • It is unlawful for any person to offer for sale, sell or give any fireworks to minors, and for any minors to possess, purchase, or set off, ignite or otherwise cause to explode any fireworks, except that the parents or guardians may allow the minor to use fireworks while under the immediate supervision and control of an adult.

Safety Tips Regarding Fireworks Use:

The Maui Fire Department has released the following list of safety guidelines for fireworks use:

  • Fireworks can be dangerous, causing serious burns and eye injuries.
  • Young children and fireworks do not mix. Never give fireworks, even sparklers to young children. Sparklers burn at temperatures of 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Older children should only use fireworks under the direct supervision of an adult.
  • Always read and follow all warnings and instructions listed by the manufacturer for the safe use and handling of fireworks.
  • Make sure you have a clear, flat area to use the fireworks; away from structures, dry grass or brush, and readily ignitable materials.
  • Have a water hose or bucket of water readily available in case of a fire.

For additional information on the fireworks permits, contact the Maui Fire Prevention Bureau at (808) 244-9161.

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