PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Fireworks are banned in Portland and Vancouver ahead of the Fourth of July, but that doesn’t always stop people from igniting them.
Local law enforcement agencies have asked the public to not call 911 or 311 to report the illegal use of fireworks. Instead, most are asking people to call their county’s non-emergency phone number to file a report.
Only call 911 if there is a fire or if someone is seriously injured by a firework.
Washington officials remind everyone ahead of July 4 that even if people live in a place where fireworks aren’t banned, not all fireworks are legal for use within the state.
Items such as firecrackers, bottle rockets, sky rockets and missiles are illegal to sell, possess and discharge in the state. State and federal laws forbid people from possessing or using items such as M-80s, M-100s, altered fireworks and homemade devices. These devices are high-powered and can cause devastating injuries.
“It is your responsibility to know the fireworks laws in the area you intend to purchase and discharge in. Always contact local authorities to determine what is legal in your area,” the Washington State Fire Marshal’s Office wrote in a press release.
The Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Office is also asking people to “keep it legal, keep it safe” on Independence Day and the days surrounding it.
Legal fireworks can only be purchased from permitted fireworks retailers and stands. Oregon law prohibits people from possessing, using or selling any firework that flies into the air, explodes or travels more than 12 feet horizontally on the ground. Only people with permits issued by the fire marshal’s office may use these types of fireworks.
Bottle rockets, roman candles and firecrackers are illegal in Oregon without a permit.
Officials can seize illegal fireworks and charge offenders with a Class B misdemeanor, which could result in a fine of up to $2,500.
“Every year, we see fires started because of improper use or use of illegal fireworks. Our message is to keep it legal and keep it safe as people celebrate the holiday,” State Fire Marshal Assistant Chief Deputy Mark Johnston said.
Below are the numbers to call to report illegal fireworks in your county:
- Multnomah County: (503) 823-3333
- Hood River County: (541) 386-2711
- Washington County: (503) 629-0111
- Clackamas County: (503) 655-8211
- Columbia County: (503) 397-1521
- Marion County: (503) 588-5032
- Clatsop County: (503) 325-2061
- Tillamook County: (503) 815-1911
- Clark County: (360) 597 7888
- Cowlitz County: (360) 577-3092
- Lewis County: (360) 740-1105