Fireworks-Not This Year!

In case you are not aware, Southern Oregon (and most of Central/Eastern Oregon) is experiencing a major league drought. Things are “tinder dry” right now and it is only the last day of June! Even the rain last week did little to ease the fire danger out there. This will get considerably worse in the weeks and months to come.

Yes-it is tradition that we celebrate our nation’s Independence Day with fireworks. I get it. I did it many years back on the beaches of Washington State with my brothers. All three of the George boys should be missing some fingers because of it….but we managed to avoid any lasting damages. Fireworks are fun…..but not this year.

There are several really good options this year (as in most years) for you and your family to enjoy a fireworks display without creating any risk or liability. These options are free, and no one will have to sleep with one eye open or worry about you burning down the neighborhood.

The City of Central Point (@ the Expo) is offering both a music and fireworks event that is being billed as “the largest fireworks display in Oregon.” The City of Ashland (my favorite) is also hosting a fireworks display that can be seen from most areas of Ashland. Both of these commercial fireworks displays are free!

Personal fireworks of any kind are prohibited in Ashland. Fireworks are also prohibited in Medford in the east foothills, in any city park/greenway, or on any school property. Only “safe and sane” fireworks are allowed elsewhere. Only the “legal” fireworks sold at the stands just outside the City of Medford are what’s legal in Oregon.

The real question this year, more than most years, is why? Why any personal fireworks this year at all? Why risk injury, the liability of a fire, and the good chance of substantial property damage? Based on the conditions state-wide, the State of Oregon should have issued a one year ban on the sale of fireworks…that would have been the prudent thing to do.

Medford PD and Medford Fire will be out in full force on July 4th enforcing the law on illegal fireworks, as well as any careless or reckless “legal” fireworks use. We dont take much joy in this enforcement activity, but it is required this year for the safety of all persons/property.

I suggest that you avoid this issue all together and just say no to fireworks this year. Relax and take in a quality public display instead.

Fireworks-Not This Year!

Tim George
Chief Of Police

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