MILWAUKIE, Ore. (KOIN) — Burn bans are in effect across the entire Portland metro area as a record heatwave looms and fireworks season begins.
Legal fireworks sales opened Wednesday across Oregon ahead of the Fourth of July holiday. Many people were out purchasing fireworks on opening day as they prepare for big post-vaccination holiday get-togethers.
Wednesday also marks the first day that fireworks can be legally set off in the state. Fireworks sales will run through July 6.
Firefighters are bracing for difficult weeks ahead. In Portland, fire officials said they responded to nearly 50 fires during the time fireworks were sold in 2019. This year, any fires they respond to will have to be tackled amid sweltering heat as outside temperatures are expected to reach triple digits.
Firefighters urge you to limit your use of fireworks and never set them off near trees, bark dust, or buildings. Always keep a bucket of water and a hose nearby. In Oregon, any decisions to ban fireworks are left up to local communities and not the state fire marshal.
Most of western Oregon is under an Excessive Heat Watch from Friday 2 p.m. to Monday 11 p.m. Daytime highs have the potential to reach 106 degrees by Sunday in Portland, nearing the all-time high temperature ever recorded of 107. Several more daily record highs may be broken within this heatwave as temperatures are forecast to stay above 100 from Saturday through Monday.