Hoodland Fire District #74 and Clackamas County Fire Defense Board are urging people to not use Fireworks this Year.Fireworks Letter from HFD
With record breaking weather and drought conditions in 2021, please consider attending a public display, watch fireworks on television or celebrate with friends and family without the use of fireworks.
Hoodland Fire often receives inquiries about the sale and use of fireworks each Fourth of July. The laws related to fireworks in Oregon can be complex. Below are answers to commonly asked questions.
- Can Hoodland Fire ban the use of Oregon Legal fireworks? No. As a rural fire protection district, Hoodland Fire does not have the legal authority to ban the use of retail fireworks. ORS 480.160(4)(c) specifically prohibits a fire district from banning the use of Oregon legal fireworks.
- Can other governments ban the use of retail fireworks? City governments have the authority to ban the use of fireworks under broad “home rule” authority and state of emergency powers. The cities of Ashland and Eugene have ordinances prohibiting use of fireworks in some or all of their city. Other cities enacted temporary emergency rules after the September 2020 wildfires that included broad prohibitions on activities that produced sparks or flames, including fireworks.
- Can Hoodland Fire ban professional fireworks displays? Yes, but only if a proposed firework display is found to pose a fire danger to the public per ORS 480.140. Applicable Fire Districts review each display application to ensure it meets fire safety requirements, it also must be approved by the applicable police or sheriff’s office, and then it is reviewed by the State Fire Marshal before approval. We encourage the public to leave fireworks to the “professionals”, and we work with display operators to ensure fireworks displays can safely be performed. To date Hoodland Fire has not received any requests for a permit for a professional display in 2021.
- Is use of retail fireworks prohibited during a Hoodland Fire High-Fire Hazard Burn Ban? NO. The scope of burn season regulations under ORS 478.960 is strictly related to open burning of yard debris, domestic wastes, field burning and related open burning of materials. It does not include authority to ban the use of fireworks.
- Who enforces laws related to use of illegal fireworks in Oregon? Law enforcement agencies enforce criminal laws related to the use of illegal fireworks in Oregon. Depending on the nature of the crime, a wide variety of criminal charges may be cited ranging from reckless burning, criminal mischief, reckless endangerment and more with fines up to $2500 per violation. People can also be held civilly liable for damage caused by improper use of any fireworks -legal or illegal.
State Fire Marshal Asks Oregonians to Keep Fireworks Use Legal and Safe
In 2020, the U.S. saw a record-setting year when it comes to the consumption of fireworks. American’s consumed 385.8 million pounds of fireworks, a 55 percent increase from the previous year. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, nationwide, children 0 to 4 years old are injured by fireworks and treated at an emergency department more than any other age group. (5.3 injuries per 100,000 people). Older teens, 15 to 19 years old, have the second-highest injury rate (4.4 injuries per 100,000 people). Males represent 66 percent of all firework-related injuries.
In Oregon, between 2016 and 2020, Multnomah, Washington, Clackamas, and Lane Counties have had the highest rates of firework-related injuries.
With an arid spring, much of Oregon experiencing some form of drought, and concerns over an active wildfire season, the Office of the Oregon State Fire Marshal is asking people to be aware of the dry conditions. Always have a bucket of water on hand to drown spent or used fireworks, have a charged hose nearby, and never light fireworks near dry grass or areas that could catch fire easily.
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 without a permit issued by the OSFM. Fireworks, commonly called bottle rockets, Roman candles, and firecrackers, are illegal in Oregon without a permit. 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. 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.