ASHLAND, Ore. — Some cities in southern Oregon are following the lead of those in Siskiyou County by canceling fireworks displays or banning the sale and display of fireworks in city limits in the midst of extreme heat and drought conditions.
The Ashland Chamber of Commerce announced Tuesday that it would cancel the Independence Day fireworks show, citing both the current conditions and concerns from the community after the trauma of the September 8 fires.
"The safety of the Ashland community is of the utmost importance and current conditions require us to reconsider the decision. We feel it is best to be abundantly cautious and cancel the show this year," said Sandra Slattery, Executive Director of the Ashland Chamber of Commerce.
The Chamber's board voted in May of this year to go forward with fireworks while forgoing the parade and normal park festivities due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but "drier conditions than anticipated" at the fireworks launch site contributed to the decision to cancel the display as well.
"The City is appreciative of the energy and effort that the Chamber puts into all of our community events. The City and its Fire Department have long standing collaboration and partnership with the Chamber and fully support their very tough decision to err on the side of caution and cancel this event," said Adam Hanks, City Manager Pro Tem for City of Ashland.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the Boomfest fireworks display at the Jackson County Expo was still set to go forward on July 4.
Shortly after Ashland's announcement, the City of Jacksonville released a statement declaring critical fire danger, and prohibiting the lighting of fireworks within the city limits "immediately."
Along with the bans already announced in some areas throughout Oregon and California, NewsWatch 12 called around to local governments on Tuesday to get a better idea of where fireworks will be prohibited and where they will be allowed:
- Ashland: City officials say that they always have a ban on public use of fireworks, and the Chamber's display was canceled on Tuesday.
- Jacksonville: Temporary ban.
- Mt. Shasta: Temporary ban.
- Yreka: Temporary ban.
- Weed: Temporary ban.
- Portland: Temporary ban.
- Bend: Temporary ban through July 9.
- Medford: Legal fireworks allowed in city limits (excluding the Greenway, public schools, and city parks) from July 1 through July 6.
- Grants Pass: Within the city limits, fireworks are allowed only on July 4 between 6 p.m. and 11 p.m., excluding wildfire hazard zones.
- Eagle Point: The city has no plan to ban fireworks, except those already prohibited under state law.
- Jackson County: Commissioner Rick Dyer said that there is not enough time to enact an ordinance prohibiting fireworks throughout Jackson County, and enforcement would be too difficult even with a new ordinance in place. County officials urged people to stick with legal fireworks and use them responsibly.
- Central Point: The city has not banned fireworks, though there is the potential that this could change.
- Klamath Falls: City officials will be meeting Tuesday to discuss a potential ban, but there is nothing currently in place.
- Talent: City officials plan to meet on Wednesday to discuss the issue, possibly adopting a permanent ban.
This list will be updated as we get more information.