First day of firework sales brings safety concerns

, Written by Kassi Nelson, Posted: Mon, June 23 2014 at 6:51 PM, Updated: Tue, June 24 2014 at 3:28 PM

White City, Ore. -- Monday marked the first day to buy fireworks. And with bone dry conditions across the area firefighters in Jackson County want to remind people to stay safe while celebrating.

Jim Ford, Manager at Discount Fireworks off Highway 62 outside of White City, said they're gearing up for what's going to be a busy year.

"On the third and fourth it's pretty common to see 200 people in here at one time," Ford said.

Ford said all of the fireworks he sells are legal in Oregon. Something Medford Fire Inspector Samantha Metheny said is more important this year than ever.

"We are at a greater fire hazard much earlier than we normally would be," Metheny said.

Oregon law bans fireworks that fly into the air more 12 inches into the air or six feet wide. Bottle rockets, Roman Candles, and firecrackers are all illegal.

Anything but small fireworks are also illegal in the city of Ashland. It's illegal to light fireworks in wildlife areas including the Bear Creek Greenway, city parks, or on public school property.

But Metheny was quick to point out that even the ones that are legal can still be dangerous. She used Ground Blooms for example.

"They can bounce off different things and spin around and shoot off sparks," Metheny said.

She said the best place to light fireworks is a paved driveway or cul-de-sac where there's not a lot of traffic. 

She said to set the fireworks down before lighting them, and quickly getting 10 feet away. It's also a good idea to have a bucket of water to put fireworks in after they're used.

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About the Author

Kassi Nelson

NBC5 News reporter Kassi Nelson was born and raised in Nebraska. She graduated from the journalism school at University of Nebraska Lincoln where she studied broadcasting.

She also studied philosophy in the Czech Republic. Kassi has visited nine other countries including Sochi, Russia, where she reported on the preparations for the 2014 Olympic Games.

She loves skiing and live concerts!

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