A fireworks message from Fire Chief Chad LaVallee:
To Whom It May Concern:
With record breaking weather and drought conditions in 2021, Alfalfa Fire District is urging people to not use fireworks this year. Please consider attending a public display, watch fireworks on television, or celebrate with friends and family without the use of fireworks.
Alfalfa Fire often receives inquiries about the sale and use of fireworks each Fourth of July. The laws related to fireworks in Oregon can be complex. Below are answers to commonly asked questions.
Can Alfalfa Fire District ban the use of Oregon Legal fireworks? No. As a Rural Fire Protection District, Alfalfa Fire does not have the legal authority to ban the use of retail fireworks. ORS 480.160(4)(c) specifically prohibits a fire district from banning the use of Oregon legal fireworks.
Can Alfalfa Fire District ban professional fireworks displays? Only if a proposed firework display is found to pose a danger to the public per ORS 480.140 or has violated state, county or local laws. Alfalfa Fire reviews each display application to ensure it meets fire safety requirements, it also must be approved by the applicable police or sheriff’s office, and then it is reviewed by the State Fire Marshal before approval. We encourage the public to leave fireworks to the “professionals”, and we work with display operators to ensure fireworks displays can safely be performed.
Is use of retail fireworks prohibited during a Alfalfa Fire District High-Fire Hazard Burn Ban?
Unfortunately, no. The scope of burn season regulations under ORS 478.960 is strictly related to open burning of yard debris, domestic wastes, field burning and related open burning of materials. It does not include authority to ban the use of fireworks.
Who enforces laws related to use of illegal fireworks in Oregon? Law enforcement agencies enforce criminal laws related to the use of illegal fireworks in Oregon. Depending on the nature of the crime, a wide variety of criminal charges may be cited ranging from reckless burning, criminal mischief, reckless endangerment and more with fines up to $2500 per violation. People can also be held civilly liable for damage caused by improper use of any fireworks - legal or illegal.
We realize this may be an inconvenience, but in the spirit of safety we urge you to forego celebrating this weekend with any fireworks.
From all of us at Alfalfa Fire, we wish you a very safe and happy Fourth of July!
Alfalfa Fire District