Recent fires heighten fireworks warning

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Recent wildfires throughout Oregon have caused State Fire Marshal Jim Walker to reissue safety warnings for fireworks usage.

“Although the causes of many of these recent wildfires are still being determined,” says State Fire Marshal Jim Walker. “it serves as a stark warning of the extremely dry conditions throughout the state and the risk that just one spark may create.”

Oregon law prohibits 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.

There were 318 reported fireworks-related fires in Oregon during 2017, resulting in more than $861,000 in property damage. Over the past five years, from 2013 through 2017, there were 1,355 reported fireworks-related fires in Oregon resulting in one death, 34 injuries, and more than $3 million in property damage.

“All Oregonians share the responsibility to use only consumer legal fireworks and use them extremely carefully during these highly volatile conditions,” adds Walker. “And we encourage you to be aware and considerate of neighbors and their pets, before deciding on when and where you choose to light fireworks.”

The OSFM encourages everyone to use the four B’s of safe fireworks use:

  • Be Prepared before lighting fireworks: keep water available by using a garden hose or bucket.
  • Be Safe when lighting fireworks: keep children and pets away from fireworks.
  • Be Responsible after lighting fireworks: never relight a dud. Wait 15 to 20 minutes then soak it in a bucket of water before disposal.
  • Be Aware: use only legal fireworks and use them only in legal places.

The four B’s of fireworks safety brochure is available here:

http://www.oregon.gov/OSP/SFM/docs/Licensing_permits/fireworks/4BesFireworks.pdf.

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