ROGUE VALLEY, Ore.– With one week to go till July 4, Rogue Valley residents are stocking up on fireworks for the big day. However, fire officials across Jackson County want to remind people about the restrictions on where and what type of fireworks people can use.
It may take just minutes to travel from one Rogue Valley city to the next but when it comes to fireworks, restrictions change dramatically.
In Ashland – the city with the strictest rules in the valley – it may be hard for residents to celebrate.
“All firecrackers and anything like that, that emit sparks, is illegal in the City of Ashland,” said Chris Chambers, forestry division chief of Ashland Fire & Rescue. “We just have too much to lose in Ashland with our forested setting and our community.”
Even leaving city limits can be a problem. For those thinking Emigrant Lake will be a good place to go outside of Ashland’s city limits, they may want to reconsider.
“Areas protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry, there’s also no fireworks use allowed,” said Chambers. “They could get a heavy fine from the Department of Forestry for using illegal fireworks in an area that they are protecting and that would include Emigrant Lake.”
While Medford may have less restrictions in terms of fireworks, residents should be aware there are certain places they can’t use them. Such as neighborhood hillside areas, the Bear Creek Greenway, any city public park or any public school.
Jackson County Fire District 3 which covers a large area from Central Point to Agate Lake Area out into Gold Hill, has less strict rules for fireworks.
“Some of the cities may have restrictions on those but as far as the fire district is concerned as long as you’re using legal fireworks in a safe manner, you’re allowed to do so,” said Mark Northrup, deputy fire marshal.
But even with every fire agency, you’re asked to stay away from fire prone areas.
“The best recommendation for people,” said Chambers. “Just to forego the personal fireworks, enjoy the big displays that the community has put on in the valley and call it good for the night.”
Firefighters want to remind the community, anyone caught violating fireworks ordinances will face fines starting at $250 for each violation.