By Wendy Osher
There are more fireworks for sale on Maui this year, with enough product to supply 600 permits, or three million permit-type firecrackers.
The increase in stock comes as O’ahu spends their first New Year under a consumer fireworks ban that went into effect on Jan. 2, 2011.
Fire Prevention Capt. Paul Haake said the retailers on Maui nearly doubled their firecracker supply this year, increasing stock from a year ago when enough product was brought in to supply 350 permit holders.
The $25 permits issued by the County of Maui, are good for the purchase of up to 5,000 firecrackers. Novelty items such as sparklers and fountains do not require permits and are legal for use on Maui, but not on O’ahu.
Today (December 30, 2011) is the last day to purchase the $25 permits on Maui and Molokai; permit sales on Lanai continue through December 31st.
As of noon today, the Maui Fire Prevention Bureau on Manea Place in Waikapu, had sold an estimated 200 permits; and the County Parks Permit office at the Lahaina Civic Center had sold about 30 permits. Counts for the outer islands were not immediately available.
While sales of fireworks permits are far from the supply on hand, they have already surpassed last year’s count of more than 160.
Fire officials say all leftover fireworks products not sold by retailers, are required to be sent back to distributors.
Fire Prevention officials encourage the public to consider leaving the fireworks to professions. This year there are three professional displays in Maui County beginning at midnight at the following locations: at Hana, below Fagan’s Cross; in Kihei on a barge off shore fronting the Grand Wailea, and on Lanai at the Manele Bay Hotel.
Those celebrating with their own fireworks are reminded that legal fireworks and firecrackers can only be set off from 9 p.m. New Year’s Eve to 1 a.m. New Year’s Day in Maui County.
Setting off fireworks outside designated times is punishable by law, with violators subject to fines of up to $2,000.
It is also unlawful to set off fireworks within 1000 feet of a health care facility, 500 feet from any hotel, or on any public roads, in county parks or near schools.