Help prevent fires this Summer from fireworks and sky lanterns, ODF asks for public’s help

06 July 2020

Published by

USA – The Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) West Oregon District will start Fire Season and Public Use Restrictions (Regulated Use) on Monday July 6, 2020. This affects the majority of Polk, Benton, Lincoln, and southern Yamhill Counties.

The sale of legal fireworks is underway in Oregon. ODF would like to remind residents of the hazards that fireworks pose. The improper use of legal and illegal fireworks poses a risk to personal safety and property. Unintentional wildfires, damages to structures and property from fireworks and preventable injuries from fireworks can be avoided with planning and awareness.

With elevated risks of wildland fire throughout much of the Pacific Northwest this summer, many fire jurisdictions are concerned about responding to accidental fires caused by fireworks use. With public gatherings closed throughout both states, including public fireworks displays and community festivals and parades, fire officials are asking the public to please refrain from informal large gatherings that may involve fireworks use.

For residents who purchase legal fireworks, please consider the following:

Use only legal fireworks and use them only in areas that allow them (check with your local jurisdiction if you are unsure).

Prepare a bucket of water or keep a garden hose nearby before lighting fireworks.

Keep children and pets at a safe distance from fireworks.

Fireworks have a recommended safe distance labeled on their packages – use these recommendations.

Never re-light a dud. Wait 15 to 20 minutes, then soak unexploded fireworks in water before disposing.

For those planning to get outdoors for the Fourth of July on public lands that are still open to the public, please keep your fireworks at home. Many private landowners do not allow entry onto their lands without a permit. Possessing or using fireworks or explosives (including exploding targets), are illegal in:

National parks

National forests

Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands

U.S. Fish and Wildfire properties

State-protected beaches, state parks and campgrounds

Sky lanterns, also known as wish lanterns and Chinese lanterns, consist of a paper or cloth sack suspended over a flame, usually from a candle. Such devices pose fire and safety hazards, as they have the potential to start an unintended fire, on or off the property from which they are released. These lanterns are illegal in Washington and Oregon at all times.

Please stay healthy and safe as you celebrate Independence Day.

Local Contact information:

Benton County: Oregon Department of Forestry in Philomath – (541) 929-3266

Lincoln County: Oregon Department of Forestry in Toledo – (541) 336-2273

Polk and Southern Yamhill County: Oregon Department of Forestry in Dallas – (503) 934-8146

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