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Eugene to celebrate first Fourth of July without home fireworks

Dog with American flag.
Camylla Battani
Supporters of the fireworks ban say it'll also help keep pets safe and calm, as opposed to loud and disruptive pyrotechnics.

For the first time ever, the city of Eugene will celebrate the Fourth of July weekend without home-launched fireworks lighting up the sky. At least, that's the goal of city officials.

 Fire marshal.
Brian Bull
Travis Worthington is the fire marshal for the City of Eugene.

Summertime, including the Fourth of July, is the most dangerous time for fires in the Pacific Northwest. That means the upcoming holiday is the City of Eugene’s first chance to see if an ordinance banning consumer fireworks will have an effect.

Travis Worthington, Fire Marshal for Eugene-Springfield Fire, says it’s currently too soon to know. “Because the ordinance in Eugene was passed in October of last year, we don’t have any data based on the Fourth of July,” he said. “So, we need to use this holiday to collect some of that data to give us some definite information as to how that ban is going to impact the threat of fire.”

Besides a small collection of sparklers and poppers, fireworks are no longer allowed to be bought, sold or set off inside city limits outside of approved official and display fireworks, like what you might see at an Emeralds game. Disobeying the ban could mean a fine up to $500.

Worthington said there are plenty of alternatives for people to try.

“There are some public displays you could attend, those are always nice to do; barbeque with friends, watch a patriotic movie; you know, our county has a lot of natural resources and parks that you can enjoy, go camping, go hiking,” he said.

Over the years, more attention has been paid to fireworks' effects on animals, as well as people suffering from PTSD, including veterans.

A list of approved fireworks will be posted on city police and fire department websites closer to the holiday weekend.

Eugene isn't the only Oregon city that's enacted restrictions against fireworks.

Newport city councilors are reminding locals and visitors of a newly enacted fireworks ban that runs through mid-October.

Fire danger concerns prompted Newport officials to pass a resolution on June 5, which prohibits using retail fireworks within city limits.

People can still sell and buy retail fireworks in Newport. However, officials say they can’t be set off within city limits until the prohibition ends October 15.

KLCC's Brian Bull contributed to this report

Chrissy Ewald is a freelance reporter for KLCC. She first reported for KLCC as the 2023 Snowden Intern.