Firefighters: Dry conditions, illegal fireworks don't mix
Portland Fire and Rescue officials are asking people to be very careful this week when using fireworks because of dry conditions.
According to the fire bureau, crews extinguished four brush fires Sunday, July 1, and firefighters worry that fireworks could add to the danger.
"Due to an unseasonably dry spring, the Pacific Northwest is experiencing high fire danger and the sort of wildfires that we would normally not see until the middle of August," according to a fire bureau press release. "Combined with the risk posed by fireworks over the next few days, all members of our community must be vigilant and understand this risk."
Most flying and exploding fireworks are illegal in Oregon. People who fire those kinds of fireworks could face fines of between $500 and $1,000, according to the bureau. They also may have to reimburse fire departments for any damages or fires caused by the illegal fireworks, reminding people that last year's massive Eagle Creek Fire was caused by careless use of fireworks.
Between 2014 and 2017, firefighters have answered dozens of calls involving damage done by fireworks. Last year, the city had 44 fireworks-related incidents that caused about $121,167 in damages. In 2015, there were 41 incidents that caused about $299,872 in damages, according to the fire bureau.