SALEM, Ore. – “Keep it legal, keep it safe” is the message from the Oregon State Fire Marshal (OSFM). The 2023 fireworks retail sales season begins June 23 and runs through July 6 in Oregon. The OSFM would like everyone to know which fireworks are legal to use, where fireworks can be used, and how to use them safely.
“We ask Oregonians to be responsible if they plan to use fireworks as part of their celebrations,” OSFM Assistant Chief Deputy Mark Johnston said. “Every year, we see fires and injuries because of improper use of fireworks or illegal fireworks. Our message is simple: keep it legal and keep it safe.”
To reduce the risk of starting a fire, some local governments in Oregon have firework sales or use restrictions in place. Check your local regulations and follow them where you live or where you may be traveling to celebrate the Fourth of July.
Consumer-legal fireworks can only be purchased from permitted fireworks retailers and stands. State regulations 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, on U.S. Fish and Wildlife properties, on state beaches, in state parks, and in state campgrounds. Fireworks are also prohibited on many private lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry.
For those 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 15 to 20 minutes, then soak it in a bucket of water before disposal.
- Be aware: Use only legal fireworks 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 resources on its website regarding the sale and legal use of consumer fireworks, retail sale permits, and state rules for firework use and enforcement activities. Safety messaging and activities for kids can also be found on the OSFM’s fireworks page.