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The 4th is Coming

Here's how to spend the holiday without losing a digit, or a dog


  • Wikimedia
It seems like every year, someone blows off a body part—or accidentally kills themselves—with illegal fireworks. The City of Bend's Fire Department Public Information Officer Dave Howe says in Oregon, legal—or consumer—fireworks can travel no more than 6 feet, fly no more than 12 inches and must not be designed to explode.

Bend is a fire-prone environment Howe says, so he recommends people use consumer fireworks with great discretion. Have a charged hose at the ready, never pick up a dud and submerge spent fireworks overnight in a bucket of water. Also, never let children light fireworks.

Howe said people who use fireworks—either legal or illegal—can be responsible for the costs of any damage caused and the cost of suppressing a fire. Case in point: The teen who started the Eagle Creek Fire in the Columbia River Gorge with a a firework was ordered to pay a $36.6 million fire for the damage caused.

Howe said July Fourth is the busiest day of the year for the department, by far, with at least double the number of calls as an average day. Every fireworks call makes them less available for true emergencies.

Howe's last piece of advice: "Eliminate the liability of using illegal fireworks and enjoy the professional fireworks show on Pilot Butte on the Fourth."
  • City of Bend Fire Department
  • City of Bend Fire Department

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