October 01, 2014

Are Fireworks Legal in West Fargo?

Fireworks can be used on July 4th and December 31st during certain times.  Otherwise fireworks are not allowed in the city limits of West Fargo per city ordinance.  You can find some helpful information below regarding fireworks.  Let us know if you have any questions by calling us at (701) 433-5500.

Fireworks FAQs

Can I light off fireworks in town? 
Yes and No.  An individual who is at least 12 years of age may use, explode or possess any retail fireworks within the city limits of the City of West Fargo, commencing July 4 at 8:00 a.m. CDT, and ending on July 4 at 11:59 p.m. CDT, and commencing on December 31 at 8:00 p.m. CST and ending on January 1 at 1:00 a.m. CST.  The individual use, explosion, or possession of fireworks at any other time during the year is prohibited.  

For more information, please refer to City Ordinance 12-0711.  If you are found lighting off fireworks within the city limits in violation of this ordinance, you can be charged with a Class B Misdemeanor ($150.00 fine).  This ordinance was updated in 2014.

Where can I light off fireworks?
Within the city limits, you cannot use fireworks on publicly owned property including park property, city or county property, school property or federally owned property without written permission.  Fireworks also cannot be used on another person's private property without permission.  If you use fireworks outside the city limits, contact the Cass County Sheriff's Department at 701-271-2900 to find out about any restrictions. Also, please be courteous and pick up all garbage after you light off fireworks.

What can I do if my neighbor is lighting off fireworks?
If someone is violating the City Ordinance 12-0711, don't hesitate to call the West Fargo Police Department at 433-5500.  We'll send an officer over to deal with the situation. 

West Fargo City Ordinance

12-0711. FIREWORKS. Source: Ord. 991, Sec. 2 (2014)

2. The Definition of “fireworks” for the purposes of this chapter means any substance or combination of substances or articles prepared for the purpose of producing a visible or an audible effect by explosion or detonation as defined by the North Dakota State Fire Marshall as 1.4G fireworks, including but not limited to: Star Light, helicopter flyers, cylindrical fountains, cone fountains, wheels, torches, colored fire, sparkler, dipped sticks, comets, shells, soft shell firecrackers not to exceed 1 ½” in length and ½" in diameter total pyrotechnic composition not to exceed 50 mg. each.

3. Except as otherwise provided in herein, it shall be unlawful for any person to offer for sale, expose for sale, sell at retail or wholesale, use, explode or possess any fireworks within the limits of the City of West Fargo. The Chief of the West Fargo Fire Department may grant permits for the sale of fireworks outside of the limits of the City of West Fargo, but within the City of West Fargo’s extra-territorial zoning authority.

4. This section shall not prohibit supervised public displays of fireworks by any person, organization or association within the City for which a permit shall have been first obtained from the City Commission. The application for such permit, in such form as may be required by the City Commission, shall be filed with the City Administrator and referred to the Chief of the Fire Department for investigation to determine whether the operator of the display is competent and whether the display is of such character and is to be so located, discharged, or fired that it will not be hazardous to property or endanger any person. The Chief of the Fire Department shall report the results of his investigation to the City Commission who shall determine whether such permit shall be issued or the application rejected. Nothing in this ordinance shall be construed to prohibit the use of fireworks by airplanes and railroads or other transportation agencies for signal purposes or illumination or the sale or use of blank cartridges or pyrotechnic special effects for a motion picture, television, show or theater, or sale or possession of powder for reloading cartridges or firearms used for hunting or trap shooting, or for signal or ceremonial purposes in athletics or sports, or for use by military organizations.

5. Any individual who is at least 12 years of age may use, explode or possess any retail fireworks within the limits of the City of West Fargo, commencing July 4 at 8:00 a.m. CST, and ending on July 4 at 11:59 p.m. CST, and commencing on December 31 at 8:00 p.m. CST, and ending on January 1 at 1:00 a.m. CST. The individual use, explosion, or possession of fireworks at any other time during the year is prohibited.

6. No person shall ignite, discharge or use fireworks on publicly owned or controlled property, including but not limited to, park property, city or county property, school property or federally owned property without prior written authorization from the governing board or authorized representative of the public entity, which owns or controls the property.

7. No person shall ignite, discharge or use fireworks on any property owned or controlled by another person or entity without the express permission of the owner or person or entity in control of the property.

8. The exception set forth in subsection 4 of this section, providing for use and possession of fireworks during specified dates and times may be suspended by the Chief of the West Fargo Fire Department when a burning ban has been issued for either the State of North Dakota, Cass County or the City of West Fargo. In the event, the Chief of West Fargo Fire Department suspends the use of fireworks, he shall notify the West Fargo Police Department and the Public. The purpose of this subsection is to protect the property and provide for the safety and well-being of the residents of West Fargo.

9. In addition to the penalty provided by section 01-0211, any violation of this section may result in the seizure or removal by the state fire marshal, sheriff, police officer, or local fire marshal, at the expense of the owner, of all fireworks or combustibles offered or exposed for sale, stored, or held.

12-1001. PENALTIES.

Any person who is convicted of violating or of failing to comply with any of the provisions of the ordinances contained in this chapter for which a penalty is not specifically set forth, may be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) or by imprisonment not to exceed thirty (30) days, or both.

North Dakota Century Code

Read tne North Dakota Century Code CHAPTER 23-15 (pdf) to find out what the state laws are regarding fireworks.