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Oregon State Fire Marshal issues warning before Fourth of July

FILE - Fireworks (SBG photo)

SALEM, Ore. – “Keep it legal, keep it safe,” that’s the message the Oregon State Fire Marshal is sharing with Oregonians before the Fourth of July.

Fireworks are on sale through July 6.

The Oregon State Fire Marshal and its partners say fireworks are legal in Oregon, where they are permitted. However, it’s important to ensure they’re used safely.

“I want to remind all Oregonians that consumer legal fireworks can only be purchased from Oregon permitted fireworks retailers and stands," said State Fire Marshal Jim Walker. "And, regulations limit where those fireworks may be used.”

The fire marshal reminds anyone visiting the forest for the Fourth of July to leave fireworks at home. The use of fireworks is prohibited on all national forest land and most other public lands.

“Fireworks compound the threat to already dry forests," said Keep Oregon Green President Kristin Babbs. "Enjoy fireworks where they belong: on the pavement- safely away from houses, vehicles, and flammable vegetation."

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 state fire marshal.

Fireworks known as bottle rockets, Roman candles, and firecrackers are illegal in Oregon without a permit.

In 2016, there were 192 reported fireworks-related fires in Oregon. The fires resulted in more than $519,000 in property damage.

Offenders could receive fines up to $500 per violation.

"All Oregonians share the responsibility to use only consumer legal fireworks and use them carefully," Walker said. “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 Albany Fire Department issued the following fireworks safety tips:

  1. DO NOT BUY ILLEGAL FIREWORKS.
  2. If your neighbor, family, or friend has purchased illegal fireworks request they DO
  3. NOT use them.
  4. Have a water hose ready for use and on.
  5. Light all fireworks on a concrete or gravel surface with a 10' clearance away from all vegetation and structures.
  6. Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Save your alcohol for after the show.
  7. Use a water bucket for all used fireworks and only after they are safe to handle.
  8. DO NOT allow children to light fireworks.
  9. Be considerate of your neighbors, pets, others near you when considering the timing of your fireworks.

Eugene Police will be staffing additional officers for the Fourth of July holiday. To report illegal fireworks within the Eugene city limits, call 541-682-5111.

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