PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A day after banning the use of fireworks in Portland this upcoming Fourth of July holiday, city officials have announced a ban on the sales of fireworks.
The emergency declaration was signed by Mayor Ted Wheeler Wednesday afternoon as a result of continuing dry conditions and hot weather.
On Tuesday, Portland Fire & Rescue announced a ban on the use of fireworks within the city through the end of the holiday weekend.
In a statement, Wheeler said the decision “doesn’t come easily” but it’s a matter of safety.
“With the recent historic, once-in-a-millennium heatwave and the forecast for continued warm weather, saving lives and property are a top priority,” he said.
Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty and PF&R Chief Sara Boone also supported the emergency declaration in statements.
“Climate change has brought unprecedented heat and dry conditions to our City and responding to this danger requires extraordinary measures,” Hardesty said. “This is the right decision and I thank Chief Boone for her advocacy.”
“While this is not an easy decision, I again want to stress that the current conditions have pushed fire danger to an extreme risk,” Boone said.
City officials are also asking residents to not call 911 about fireworks being used in order to keep the system open for active fires and serious medical problems.
The region is still reeling from a historic heatwave that is believed to have resulted in the deaths of more than 60 Oregonians, with 45 alone in Multnomah County, the state’s largest county and where most of Portland is located.
Earlier on Wednesday, Gov. Kate Brown issued an emergency declaration for the state in response to the threat of wildfires.