Weather Alert

Fireworks Banned In Portland, Gresham, Clark County, Elsewhere Due To Fire Danger

PORTLAND, Ore. — Several cities and jurisdictions have implemented bans on fireworks due to extreme fire danger.  Fire agencies and cities that have not banned fireworks are also warning against their use.

Portland Fire & Rescue on Tuesday announced an immediate ban on the use of all fireworks indefinitely.

“If we don’t take this proactive step now, I fear the consequences could be devastating,” said Portland Fire Chief Sara Boone.  “It is not easy to make a decision like this so close to our national holiday but as Fire Chief I feel I have a higher responsibility to sometimes make unpopular decisions during unprecedented times to protect life, property and the environment.”

On Wednesday, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler signed an emergency declaration that immediately bans the sale of fireworks in the city.

You’re asked not to call 911 to report fireworks.  Officials say it’s vital that the 911 system be kept open only for emergencies.  Investigators will not be patrolling in Portland, but are sending a strong warning that they will investigate all fires connected to fireworks and violators will be held responsible.  Fireworks that cause injury or extensive damage can result in heavy fines and possible jail time.

The City of Gresham issued a ban on the use of fireworks effective Thursday morning through July 9th.  Police can issue a fine of up to $2,500 for violations and people will be held responsible if their fireworks cause a fire.  Residents should use the non-emergency number to report fireworks at (503) 823-3333.

“I urge residents to celebrate responsibly with family and friends, with food and games, and in compliance with the fireworks ban, so that we may all enjoy a safe and fire-free Independence Day,” said Gresham Fire Chief Mitch Snyder.

Clark County has also banned fireworks.  This comes on top of bans by the cities of Battle Ground, Camas, La Center, Ridgefield, Vancouver and Washougal.

“We’ve had an unusually dry spring for the Pacific Northwest,” said Clark County Fire Marshal Dan Young.  “That coupled with a record-breaking heat wave led to conditions that increase our fire danger risk in Clark County.”

Fines for illegally discharging fireworks in Camas and Washougal start at $250.  To make a complaint, residents are encouraged to call 3-1-1.

Tualatin has banned fireworks through July 9th.  Police will confiscate fireworks and issue citations if necessary.  The community is asked to report any firework activity to the non-emergency line at (503) 629-0111.

Milwaukie has also banned fireworks through July 9th.  Police will be patrolling and violators face fines up to $1,000.  People can call the non-emergency number at (503) 786-7500 to make a report.

“We all experienced the devastating fires of last fall and probably know someone who lost their home.  The last thing we want is a fire like that burning through the metro region,” said Milwaukie Mayor Mark Gamba.

Oregon City Police will have extra officers working enforcement over the weekend to cite anyone using illegal fireworks.  Fines start at $500.  Residents can report illegal use of fireworks within the city limits to the non-emergency line at (503) 655-8211.

The city of Sandy has cancelled their 4th of July fireworks show and urge residents not to use fireworks in town.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, fireworks cause more than 19,000 fires each year in the United States.

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