After a record heatwave in Pacific Northwest, fears that fireworks could set off wildfires rekindled and fireworks bans are now being enforced.
Officials in Washington and Oregon have issued fireworks bans to prevent wildfires from erupting due to the unprecedented heatwave that hit the Pacific Northwest.
In a press release, Sara Boone, Portland Fire & Rescue’s fire chief, stated that “if we don’t take this proactive action now, I fear it could be disastrous.” It is difficult to make such a decision so close to a national holiday, but I feel that as chief firefighter, I have greater responsibility to make tough decisions at times when it is most necessary to protect lives, property, and the environment.
Recent headlines reminded us how dangerous and powerful fireworks can be. According to CBS Los Angeles, about ten pounds worth of illegal fireworks caused a lot of damage in a Los Angeles police seizure that went wrong. The fireworks caused more than a dozen injuries, including windows shattering and cars being flipped.
Clark County, Washington banned the sale and use of fireworks during the Fourth of July. Other cities in the area of southwest Washington have also imposed similar bans according to Willamette Week. Numerous state and local officials from other states have recently implemented fireworks bans in certain areas of their state, including Idaho and Montana.
Professional fireworks displays are prohibited. These fireworks are generally safer than those set off by amateurs.
Julie L. Heckman (executive director of American Pyrotechnics Association) stated that cities and municipalities can impose restrictions on fireworks use or bans when there are severe drought conditions.
Heckman stated that although fireworks sellers in other states like Texas have been able find workarounds for fireworks bans in Texas, the Pacific Northwest’s unusual weather is a new frontier.