“Keep it legal, keep it safe” is the message from the Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal (OSFM). The 2022 fireworks retail sales season begins June 23rd and runs through July 6th in Oregon. The OSFM would like everyone to know which fireworks are legal, where they can be used, and how to use them safely.
To reduce the risk of starting a wildfire, some local governments in Oregon have put in place regulations, perhaps including bans, on the sale or use of fireworks. It is important to check your local regulations and follow them where you live or may be traveling to celebrate the 4th of July holiday.
“We ask that those using fireworks be responsible when using them,” Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal Assistant Chief Deputy Mark Johnston said. “Every year, we see fires started because of improper use or use of illegal fireworks. Our message is to keep it legal and keep it safe as people celebrate the holiday.”
Consumer legal fireworks can only be purchased from permitted fireworks retailers and stands. State regulations also limit where those fireworks may be used. People who plan to visit public lands and parks are asked to leave all fireworks at home. The possession and use of fireworks are prohibited in national parks and forests, on Bureau of Land Management lands, U.S. Fish and Wildlife properties, state beaches, state parks, and in-state campgrounds. The use of fireworks is also prohibited on many private lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry.
For residents who purchase legal fireworks, fire officials encourage everyone to practice the four Bs 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. Never use fireworks near or on dry grass or vegetation.
- Be responsible after lighting fireworks: never relight a dud. Please wait for 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.
Oregon law prohibits the possession, use, or sale of any firework that flies into the air, explodes, or travels more than 12 feet horizontally on the ground without a permit issued by the OSFM. Fireworks, commonly called bottle rockets, Roman candles, and firecrackers, are illegal in Oregon without a permit. Officials may seize illegal fireworks and charge offenders with a class B misdemeanor, which could result in a fine of up to $2,500. Those who misuse fireworks or allow fireworks to cause damage are liable and may be required to pay fire suppression costs or other damages. Parents are also liable for fireworks damage caused by their children.
The OSFM has published FAQs for commonly answered questions about the sale and legal use of consumer fireworks, permits for the retail sale of fireworks, and state rules for their use and enforcement activities. OSFM’s fireworks education materials for sharing on social media also can be found on its website.