As the Fourth of July approaches, fireworks go on sale throughout much of Oregon on Thursday. And the state fire marshal’s office is reminding people to celebrate legally and safely.
“We want folks to have a good time, celebrate with their friends and family, and also come out on July 5th with, you know, good memories and no injuries,” said Alison Green with the Oregon fire marshal’s office.
Green said people should make sure fireworks are legal in the city or county where they live. Due mainly to the risk of wildfires, fireworks have been banned in several Oregon cities, including Portland, Bend and Cannon Beach.
Green says even with some of those bans in place, about 100 fires were started by fireworks in Oregon last year.
People who plan to visit public lands and parks are asked to leave all fireworks at home. The possession and use of fireworks are prohibited in national parks and forests, on Bureau of Land Management lands, U.S. Fish and Wildlife properties, state beaches, state parks, and in-state campgrounds. The use of fireworks is also prohibited on many private lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry.
In those areas where fireworks are legal, they’re only on sale through July 6. Green says you should only buy them from permitted dealers.
How do you know if a certain kind of firework is legal for personal use? The fire marshal’s office says Oregon law prohibits the possession, use, or sale of any firework that flies into the air, explodes, or travels more than 12 feet horizontally on the ground. Fireworks commonly called bottle rockets, Roman candles, and firecrackers, are illegal in Oregon without a permit. More details are available here.
And a reminder — don’t call 911 to report illegal fireworks. Instead call your local police department’s non-emergency number.
Green noted that even in jurisdictions where personal fireworks are banned, professional shows are still allowed and are a good option for people wanting to celebrate with fireworks on the 4th.