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Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) has issued an immediate ban on the use of all legal and illegal fireworks in the Portland area – including those used throughout the city during the July 4th celebrations – due to dangerous drought.
Fire Chief Sara Boone, along with the command staff and commissioner of the PF&R office, Jo Ann Hardesty, said they made the call after investigating the extremely hot and dry conditions caused by the recent heatwave and found out that the use of fireworks makes our current situation even more dangerous. According to O, 44 fireworks were started last summer.
“If we do not take this proactive step now, I fear the consequences could be devastating,” Chief Boone wrote in a press release from PF&R. “It’s not easy to make such a decision so close to our national holiday, but as a fire chief I feel I have a greater responsibility to make sometimes unpopular decisions in unprecedented times to protect life, property and the environment.”
Boone also added that while the fire inspectors do not patrol and search for people using fireworks, they are actively investigating “any fires associated with fireworks” and anyone whose use of fireworks causes significant damage or injury Responsibility is being held and subjected to “heavy fines and / or imprisonment”.
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PF&R also urged Portlanders not to call 9-1-1 to report users of fireworks as that line should remain free to report fires and medical emergencies.
It is still unclear how long the ban will remain in force. Portland is now joining other cities in the Pacific Northwest – including Bend; Cannon beach; Vancouver, Washington; and more — in introducing fireworks bans in the immediate future. Fireworks sales may continue.
Stay tuned for more updates and clarifications.
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