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City of Phoenix bans fireworks until the end of the year

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.

Posted: Jul 1, 2021 11:07 AM
Updated: Jul 2, 2021 9:19 AM

PHOENIX, Ore. — A growing number of 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 Phoenix City Council met in an emergency meeting on Thursday night, voting in favor of a resolution that bans any and all fireworks in the city until December 30. Phoenix Police said that they would be enforcing the ban with extra patrol officers through July 6.

"If a person is caught using fireworks, within the city limits, in violation of this emergency ordinance they could be issued a citation for the violation with a fine of up to $500," Phoenix Police said in a statement.

The Talent City Council voted unanimously on Wednesday to pass an ordinance that bans "the use, lighting, detonation or display of consumer and display fireworks" within city limits. Thursday's ordinance declared an emergency, making it effective immediately.

Talent's ordinance makes express reference to the Almeda Fire, which leveled much of Talent and Phoenix, leaving thousands of people without homes and undoubtedly scarred by the experience.

While there's no indication that the Almeda Fire was started by fireworks, the ordinance reasons that fireworks pose a potential fire hazard and residents are "understandably fearful of threats of wildfire" after the events of September.

On Thursday, the Gold Hill City Council approved its own ban on fireworks, lasting from July 1 through the end of fire season. Officials said that the city charter allows for a $250 fine for any violation of the resolution.

"Due to current weather conditions and drought, and a statewide state of emergency for imminent threat of wildfire declared on June 29, the ban is intended to reduce the risk to public safety, life and property," Gold Hill said in a statement.

The Ashland Chamber of Commerce announced Tuesday that it would cancel the annual Independence Day fireworks show, citing both the current conditions and concerns from the community after the trauma of the September 8 fires. The City of Ashland also has a standing ban on private use of fireworks within the city.

"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.

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."

As of Tuesday afternoon, the Boomfest fireworks display at the Jackson County Expo was still set to go forward on July 4. Officials say that this year's show is designed to keep any burning material far away from dry vegetation by using exclusively aerial effects that will finish burning well before they return to the ground. The Expo has also decided to bar people from bringing and setting off their own fireworks this year.

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:

Fireworks prohibited

  • Phoenix: Fireworks banned until the end of the year.
  • Gold Hill: Fireworks banned through the end of fire season.
  • Talent: New ordinance bans the sale and display of fireworks within city limits.
  • Lake of the Woods: The annual fireworks display has been canceled, and other fireworks are banned on Forest Service lands.
  • Ashland: City officials say that have a standing 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.

Fireworks allowed

  • Klamath Falls: Legal fireworks allowed, but city code prohibits discharge of fireworks in an area that poses a fire hazard risk "such as a field, vacant lot, or any city park." A fireworks display is going forward at the Klamath County Fairgrounds, though no personal fireworks will be allowed, similar to Boomfest.
  • Central Point: Legal fireworks allowed within city limits, large display at the Jackson County Expo for Boomfest.
  • 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.

This list will be updated as we get more information.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

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Reported Deaths: 3594
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah51245642
Washington34995276
Marion32577393
Clackamas26570271
Lane23989246
Jackson20977257
Deschutes16623102
Umatilla12602125
Douglas10712188
Linn1046886
Josephine8659165
Yamhill744999
Klamath643491
Polk623570
Malheur479467
Benton461927
Coos412069
Columbia324237
Jefferson313746
Lincoln276330
Union272737
Wasco239039
Crook212338
Clatsop211725
Tillamook181523
Baker174421
Morrow167921
Curry166817
Hood River163035
Harney78916
Grant7558
Lake6768
Wallowa50811
Gilliam1374
Sherman1283
Wheeler651
Unassigned00

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Cases: 4644566

Reported Deaths: 68019
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Los Angeles144512125852
Riverside3579884804
San Diego3495814009
San Bernardino3472035506
Orange3146225354
Sacramento1503072089
Santa Clara1405641841
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Kern1358421515
Alameda1162141329
Ventura976901120
San Joaquin973871615
Contra Costa95727924
Stanislaus806991234
Tulare72969896
San Mateo52239607
San Francisco51907605
Monterey49465565
Solano44151312
Santa Barbara43112500
Sonoma39441378
Merced39370535
Placer36487364
Imperial34261755
Kings30124284
San Luis Obispo28300313
Madera21707258
Butte21307230
Shasta20683276
Santa Cruz20151211
Yolo19143239
Marin17106242
El Dorado16004127
Sutter13094153
Napa1226895
Yuba926061
Nevada847685
Humboldt829587
Tehama823784
San Benito709067
Mendocino685575
Lassen637627
Tuolumne615393
Lake603687
Amador492259
Glenn398030
Siskiyou389541
Calaveras342266
Del Norte336034
Colusa290918
Inyo166539
Mono14935
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Mariposa99712
Trinity72010
Modoc6278
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