Southern Oregon see less fireworks-related fires on the fourth than years past

MEDFORD, Ore. – Fire crews know it only takes one spark to start a wildfire. That’s why every independence day they’re on high alert knowing sparks are flying.

Every year, local fire crews say they respond to fires related to fireworks and sometimes they get out of control. But during this year’s celebrations, agencies around southern Oregon say the sparks didn’t fly as far.

As the fourth of July lights up the skies of southern Oregon, fire crew often see a different side of the festivities.

“For the fourth of July related fire normally we see three to four grass fires in the past years we’ve had a structure fire or two,” Medford Fire-Rescue Deputy Fire Marshal, Steve Parks said.

“Sometimes we do get nuisance fires, and small fires, but at least the past couple years we haven’t had any,” Fire District #5 Fire Captain, Steve Maziarski said.

Most fire crews worked around the clock Thursday night to make sure fireworks were being used properly, if at all, and while Medford says there were a few firework-related fires.

“I would say based on my experience being out on patrol for the evening, there were definitely fewer fireworks around town, it was definitely calmer,” Parks said.

And fire agencies in the valley say they saw fewer issues from fireworks than in years past.

“So this year we happened to have everybody following the rules and being responsible,” Grants Pass Fire Rescue Battalion Chief, Steve DeLonge.

“While I don’t have a hard number or statistic to quote from the overall impression and sentiment from colleagues that I spoke to this morning was there was definitely a reduced use of illegal fireworks in the city last night,” Parks said.

Medford’s firework ordinance has changed, fireworks can now only be set off from the 1st through the 6th, and fines for illegal fireworks are now $2500.

Rural Metro says they had no calls related to fireworks last night, grants pass fire rescue says a handful of fireworks were confiscated.

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