In some parts of Oregon you can already hear the bangs and pops. Fireworks season is here. Safety officials are trying to get the jump on illegal displays. According to the State Fire Marshal's office, these displays caused one million dollars in property damage last year.
Rich Hoover with the Fire Marshal's office says there are some kinds of consumer fireworks that are permitted during the July 4th holiday season.
"Folks can go on our website and get examples of what's legal and illegal," Hoover says. "But really the simple thing is anything that leaves the ground more than 12 inches, or travels on the ground more than six feet is illegal in Oregon."
To be on the safe side, you can just limit your fireworks shopping to licensed locations in Oregon. There's a list on the marshal's website, right with the flyer that shows legal and illegal firecrackers.
Conditions aren't as dry as in some recent years, Hoover says. That's made for slightly lower risk of fireworks accidents. But it depends on where you live.
"In the Valley, I think the outdoor fire danger is a bit less than it would be normally. W e've kind of had a little wetter spring. That's kind of a good thing. On the east side they still have the same issues, lots of shrubs and whatnot that are drying out because they aren't getting much rain. It's probably an average danger on the east side of the Cascades. West side's probably slightly lower than normal."
Officials with the Willamette National Forest aren't taking chances. They've issued a reminder not to bring fireworks of any kind to the Forest this summer. Same goes for Oregon's beaches.
Hoover says safe use of fireworks includes having a bucket handy to douse duds and take care of flash fires, and keeping kids and pets at a safe distance. This year, the Oregon Humane Society took out an ad in the Oregonian newspaper asking people to leave fireworks to the professionals.