WAILUKU - Maui Fire Department last week announced its fireworks permit processing schedule and urged residents to be cautious and consider the island's dry conditions.
"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 MFD Capt. Paul Haake.
"When using fireworks, please follow the safety tips provided, use common sense and watch out for each other. Hopefully, we can all have a safe and enjoyable New Year's celebration and continue to celebrate every New Year with fireworks."
Fireworks permit processing will be offered through Dec. 30 at the Fire Prevention Bureau at 313 Manea Place in Wailuku and the County Parks Permit Office at Lahaina Civic Center.
The following stores are selling permit-required firecrackers: all Foodland stores, all Times Supermarkets and Napili Market.
Fireworks permits are required to purchase firecracker-type fireworks and are good for 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. The cost of each permit is $25, payable by either check or money order to the County of Maui. Cash will be accepted at the Fire Prevention Bureau only.
Novelty fireworks - such as sparklers, snakes, fountains and cylindrical or cone fountains that emit effects not higher than 12 feet off the ground - do not require permits.
Maui Fire Department reminds residents that fireworks and firecrackers can only be legally set off from 9 p.m. on New Year's Eve to 1 a.m. on 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.
MFD suggests "leaving fireworks to the professionals!" Enjoy one of the public fireworks displays at midnight on New Year's Eve at the following locations: Hana below Fagan's Cross, from a barge fronting the Grand Wailea Hotel, and the Manele Bay Hotel on Lanai.
For information, call 244-9161 or visit www.co.maui.hi.us and review the fireworks rules under the "Fire Control" section.