MEDFORD, Ore. — The City of Medford will not ban setting off fireworks within city limits for Independence Day this year. The City Council discussed the issue during a meeting on Thursday, but ultimately decided against any additional restrictions.
In a statement, the City urged Medford residents to educate themselves on the safe use of fireworks, asking that people respect the current weather conditions and the concerns expressed by many other residents about the potential dangers.
"The Mayor and Council have received numerous emails and phone calls requesting that the Council pass a resolution banning the use of fireworks inside Medford City Limits," the City said. "In addition to the requests to ban the use, there are suggestions to end the sale of fireworks inside city limits as well."
According to City officials, there is already a ban in place on fireworks sales in Medford, and any stands in the area are not within the Medford city limits.
"All elected officials and staff have taken citizen comments and request seriously considering the high fire danger that exists in the region," the City continued.
In Medford, use of fireworks is banned in certain areas of the city — the Wildland Hazard Area, which includes property east of Foothill Road and N Phoenix Road; all city parks and schools; and the Bear Creek Greenway. Officials said that these areas will be the focus of enforcement for July 4th and beyond.
The City Council noted that it recognized the need for "future discussions on this subject" with neighboring cities and Jackson County for a coordinated approach to the topic.
The cities of Phoenix, Gold Hill, Talent, and Jacksonville recently established bans on fireworks due to the high fire danger conditions, and Ashland has a standing ban on private fireworks. Klamath Falls, Central Point, Eagle Point, and Grants Pass have not added additional restrictions on fireworks this year.