Please Use Extreme Caution with Fireworks This Fourth of July

This message shared on behalf of Cow Creek Emergency Management.

With the 4th of July holiday just around the corner, fireworks are being sold in stores and tents all over Douglas County. While these fireworks are technically legal and approved by the Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Office, they still pose a fire and injury risk if misused or used carelessly.

Even sparklers, which burn at 1200* F, pose a significant fire and injury risk if dropped in dry grass or used by unsupervised children. Other fireworks, such as mortars, bottle rockets, firecrackers, and Roman candles are not only illegal in Oregon, but they also increase the risk of fire and injury immensely.

Please Note: All fireworks, even those legal in Oregon, are prohibited on lands protected by the Douglas Forest Protective Association (DFPA) during fire season, which began on June 14, 2024.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), injuries involving fireworks climbed 25% in the United States between 2006 and 2021. Additionally, fireworks started an estimated 12,264 fires in 2021, including 2,082 structure fires, 316 vehicle fires, and 9,866 outside and other fires.

If you do plan on celebrating with fireworks, please remember the following safety tips from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA):

  • Light fireworks one at a time, then move away quickly.
  • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
  • Never leave fireworks unattended. Put them out completely before you leave them.
  • Fireworks can easily spark a fire, so it’s important to light them in a safe area away from anything that could catch fire.
  • Fireworks can be dangerous, and children should not be allowed to handle them unsupervised.
  • Always read and follow all safety instructions before using fireworks.
  • Never use fireworks while impaired by alcohol or drugs.
  • Dispose of fireworks properly by soaking them in water for a few hours and then placing them in a metal container.
  • If you see a fireworks-related emergency, such as a fire or a person injured by fireworks, call 911 immediately.