A Public Service Announcement from the Central Oregon Fire Chiefs Association
Legal fireworks have gone on sale just as Central Oregon is entering into an extended period of very hot and dry weather. Grasses, sagebrush and other fuels are rapidly drying, creating a high fire danger situation. Crook, Deschutes, and Jefferson Counties are currently under drought emergency declarations.
Due to our current high fire danger situation, it is important that people use extreme caution this year if they choose to use fireworks. ANY firework, even one that is legal, is capable of causing a fire. If your fireworks, legal or illegal, cause a fire, you can be held liable for the damages as well as the costs of suppressing the fire.
Oregon law prohibits the sale, use, or possession of any firework that explodes, flies, or travels more than 6 feet along the ground or 12 inches into the air. It is a crime to possess illegal fireworks. Law enforcement can and will issue citations for up to $750 per offense.
The minimum age to purchase, possess, or use fireworks in the State of Oregon is 16. Within the City of Bend, that minimum age increases to 18 by city ordinance. Remember, Fireworks are prohibited on Federal and State lands.
If you choose to use fireworks please follow these recommendations:
- Choose a level surface free of grass, weeds, or other combustible material for at least ten feet in all directions.
- Keep children and pets out of this discharge area, only responsible adults should handle or light fireworks. Even sparklers are hazardous – they can reach a temperature of up to 1200 degrees at the tip!
- Always keep a hose or bucket of water on hand.
- Once the fireworks are spent, they should be placed into a bucket of water to soak overnight before placing them in the garbage.
The Central Oregon Fire Chiefs Association would like to take this opportunity to remind residents and visitors that preventing fires and injuries due to fireworks is YOUR responsibility.
For more information, visit www.centraloregonfireservices.org or contact Traci Cooper, Fire Marshal with Redmond Fire and Rescue at (541) 504-5006