Firework misuse & disposal concerns

Medford, Ore. — It was a busy evening for law enforcement and first responders for Wednesday night for the 4th of July. According to Medford Fire-Rescue, the agency partnered with Medford Police and confiscated more than 100 illegal fireworks Wednesday night alone. Out of the 100 cases of illegal firework confiscations, Medford Fire-Rescue said ten of those were slapped with a $250 fine for the possession. It said its efforts to enforce the law aren’t to spoil your 4th of July, but to keep you and your loved ones safe.

The day after 4th of July is also causing concern for firefighters, as the remnant of the holiday and used fireworks are being found at local schools. One of those, includes Jewett Elementary School’s play field in Central Point – where dozens of used fireworks are scattered.

“Spent fireworks – or even sparks – in a field, they can smolder for a while,” said Deputy Fire Marshal Tanner Fairrington, Medford Fire-Rescue.

That smoldering has the potential to start a fire.

“It can be hours, it can be days, it can be weeks,” said Deputy Fire Marshal Fairrington.

Which is why Medford Fire-Rescue works hard to enforce Oregon’s fireworks laws.

“The smoldering process can go on for a long, long time, before there’s the right amount of heat and oxygen to where it starts an actual fire,” said Deputy Fire Marshal Fairrington.

Medford Fire-Rescue is reminding everyone, there are severe consequences for possessing, buying and selling illegal fireworks. Illegal fireworks are fireworks that shoot up to six feet – including roman candles and bottle rockets. The fine is $250 – however, depending on the circumstance – it can be higher.

As fireworks are still being sold throughout the area for a couple more days, Medford Fire-Rescue has a few safety reminders to avoid a fire from sparking:

  • Only set off fireworks on a clear and non-combustible surface, like a private property or driveway.
  • Never dispose used fireworks in a trash can immediately after use, as it can cause other items in to spark.
  • It said to instead place them in a bucket of water, then throw them away.

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