MEDFORD, Ore. — With retail sales of fireworks opening on Saturday, state officials, safety experts and conservationists want to get the word out on what fireworks are considered legal and how to use them safely in Oregon.
“I want to remind all Oregonians that consumer legal fireworks can only be purchased from Oregon permitted fireworks retailers and stands,” says State Fire Marshal Jim Walker. “And, regulations limit where those fireworks may be used. Fire risk in Oregon is approaching extreme conditions and there is no room for error in fireworks safety.”
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.
Fireworks cannot be used at all on public land—including national forestland, Oregon state parks and beaches.
“It’s best to leave fireworks to the professionals,” states Keep Oregon Green President Kristin Babbs. “Support your local community by enjoying fireworks at sponsored events. If you choose to use fireworks at home, make sure they stay on the pavement and always keep a bucket of water nearby for safety and to extinguish spent fireworks.”
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—unless given permission by the Office of the State Fire Marshall (OSFM). Fireworks commonly called bottle rockets, Roman candles, and firecrackers are illegal in Oregon without a permit.
According to OSFM, there were 318 reported fireworks-related fires in Oregon during 2017, resulting in eight injuries and more than $861,000 in property damage. Over the past five years (2013-2017) there were 1,355 reported fireworks-related fires in Oregon resulting in one death, 34 injuries, and more than $3 million in property damage.
If fire officials catch someone with illegal fireworks, they may seize the contraband and charge offenders with a class B misdemeanor—for a maximum fine of $25,00 per violation and a civil penalty of up to $500. Anyone who causes damage or starts a fire by misusing fireworks can be held liable for the cost. Parents are also liable for damage caused by their children.
“All Oregonians share the responsibility to use only consumer legal fireworks and use them carefully,” adds Walker. "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.”