Ahead of Fourth of July weekend, Eugene and Springfield Fire and Eugene Police are reminding residents to be careful when shooting off legal fireworks, and to be aware of the restrictions on when and where they can be used.
Here are some basics on firework usage in the Eugene-Springfield area.
When and where can I shoot fireworks?
In Eugene, legal fireworks can only be shot off on Sunday, July 3 and Monday, July 4, along with Dec. 31 and Jan. 1. They can be used anywhere in town except the area in south Eugene, where it is banned. The ban is temporary, running through the end of 2022. The ban was passed unanimously by the Eugene City Council in June 2021, as a response to extreme drought conditions and the increased fire danger in south Eugene. The temporary ban penalty is a fine not to exceed $500. The presumptive fine is $250.
In Springfield there are no banned areas or time restrictions on fireworks.
What are the boundaries for the Eugene fireworks ban?
The ban is in south Eugene and consists of all areas within the city limits south of 18th Avenue and east of Agate Street.
When can I buy fireworks?
In Eugene and Springfield, like the rest of Oregon, groups and businesses sell fireworks from June 23 through July 6. The South Hills ban also prevents fireworks sellers from conducting business in the south Eugene ban area.
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What are legal and illegal fireworks?
Legal fireworks in Oregon include fountains, spinners and wheel-type fireworks. They can create smoke, sparks or fire, but cannot explode, eject balls of fire, fly into the air more than 12 inches or travel more than 6 feet on the ground.
Illegal fireworks can include fire crackers, bottle rockets and Roman candles, along with any that fly into the air, explode and behave in an uncontrolled and unpredictable manner. Possession of illegal fireworks is a misdemeanor that carries a fine of up to $2,500 and six months in jail.
Cherry bombs, M-80s and larger and any legal or illegal firework that has been modified are considered explosive devices and should not be handled, according to a news release from Eugene police spokeswoman Melinda McLaughlin. She asked that anyone who finds them to call police immediately to collect them, and to not transport by yourself.
What about sparklers?
Wood core sparklers are considered legal retail fireworks, the Oregon State Fire Marshal’s website states.
The 10-inch wire core sparklers are considered an unclassified item and not a firework and can be sold and used throughout the year.
When and where is fireworks amnesty turn-in day?
Those with illegal fireworks can turn them in without being cited from 8 am to 4 pm Saturday, July 2 and Sunday, July 3, at the following locations in Eugene and Springfield:
- In Eugene at 1705 W. Second Ave. (Emergency Services Training Center)
- In Springfield at 1225 28th St. (Eugene-Springfield Fire Station 3)
The event is only open to residents and not commercial parties. McLaughlin asked that residents otherwise not take fireworks to a police or fire station.
What’s the possible punishment in Eugene for using illegal fireworks?
The base fine for illegal fireworks in Eugene is $250.
The social host ordinance in Eugene also applies to fireworks. The social host, or ordinance on unruly gatherings, holds individuals criminally responsible for hosting, organizing and allowing an unruly event or social gathering. Eugene property owners where the event is hosted will also be penalized if there are multiple violations of this ordinance at the same property. The Eugene Municipal Court has assigned a base fine of $375 for criminal violations of this ordinance. Both hosts and property owners could be civilly liable for police, fire and public works response to repeated illegal gatherings that fall under this ordinance.
Where to call to report illegal fireworks?
Report illegal fireworks in Eugeneat 541-682-5111, and in Springfield at 541-726-3714.
Eugene-Springfield Fire also has an app where residents can report illegal fireworks with pictures, available online. Go to www.eugene-or.gov/120/Fire-and-Emergency-Medical-Services, and find the app under “Report Illegal Fireworks Use.” Reports do not lead to immediate action, but will help the department gather information and be used to identify areas of the community to target for future education and enforcement efforts.
Have you taken neighbors into consideration?
Fireworks are a traditional way to celebrate some holidays, but they can be noisy and an extreme fire hazard. Be mindful of people in the neighborhood who may be sensitive to loud noises, due to PTSD or other conditions. Especially combat veterans, who deserve our every comfort after their service, can be impacted by the sounds and sights of illegal fireworks. Also many pets are lost each year due to reactions to fireworks.