The Office of State Fire Marshal, the Oregon Fire Service, natural resource agencies, Oregon licensed fireworks wholesalers and safety experts are asking Oregonians to “keep it legal and keep it safe” when using all fireworks.
The 2020 Oregon fireworks retail sales season opened Tuesday, June 23, and runs through July 6. The OSFM and its partners want everyone to know what fireworks are legal to use in Oregon without a permit, where they are allowed to be used and how to use fireworks safely.
“In Oregon, consumer legal fireworks can only be purchased from permitted fireworks retailers and stands,” State Fire Marshal Jim Walker said. “State regulations limit where those fireworks may be used. Starting in July, risks for wildfire in many parts of Oregon will be high. Fireworks can also start structural fires that threaten lives and property, as we have seen in past years.”
Residents who plan to visit public lands and parks for the Fourth of July holiday are asked to leave all fireworks at home. The use of fireworks is prohibited in national parks and forests, on Bureau of Land Management lands, on U.S. Fish and Wildlife properties, on state beaches, in state parks and in state campgrounds.
For residents who purchase legal fireworks, the OSFM encourages everyone to practice “the four Bs” of safe fireworks use:
For the last reported five years through 2019, there were 1,173 reported fireworks-related fires in Oregon, resulting in more than $4.9 million in property loss and contents damage. During that same period, fires resulting from fireworks resulted in one death and 36 injuries. The data from structural fire agencies do not include incidents that occurred on federal and other state lands.
Officials may seize illegal fireworks and charge offenders with a class B misdemeanor, which could result in a fine of up to $2,500 per violation and a civil penalty of up to $500. Those who misuse fireworks or allow fireworks to cause damage are liable and may be required to pay fire suppression costs or other damage. Parents are also liable for fireworks damage caused by their children.
“All of us share the responsibility to use only Oregon consumer legal fireworks and use them carefully,” Walker added. “Please also consider your neighbors and their pets before deciding on when and where you choose to light legal fireworks.”
The OSFM has published FAQs for commonly answered questions about the sale and legal use of consumer fireworks, permits for the retail sale of fireworks and state rules for their use and enforcement activities. OSFM’s fireworks education materials for sharing on social media also can be found on its website: https://www.oregon.gov/osp/Pages/index.aspx.