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Mayor Wheeler Bans Sale, Use of Fireworks in Portland

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by Isabella Garcia

A store with a sign advertising fireworks

Mayor Ted Wheeler announces a ban on the sale and use of fireworks in Portland. Scott Olson / Getty

Mayor Ted Wheeler has banned the sale and use of fireworks in Portland, effective immediately.

Wheeler announced the ban Wednesday afternoon, citing the risk of wildfires due to the statewide drought, dry conditions, and recent heatwave. The mayor also placed Portland in a state of emergency due to the threat of fire.

“A decision like this doesn’t come easily but it’s imperative that we do all we can to ensure everyone’s safety,” Wheeler said in a press release. “This sales ban is another necessary measure to reduce threats posed by wildfires to the city and all who live here.”

Wheeler’s ban adds teeth to Portland Fire & Rescue’s June 29 ban on firework use. Fire Chief Sara Boone said the agency would investigate any fires that had a connection to fireworks, but would not add extra patrols to proactively stop people from setting off fireworks. Only the mayor has the authority to enforce a ban on fireworks.

Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, who oversees Portland Fire & Rescue, thanked Wheeler for the ban.

“Climate change has brought unprecedented heat and dry conditions to our City and responding to this danger requires extraordinary measures,” Hardesty said. “This is the right decision and I thank Chief Boone for her advocacy.”

Wheeler’s decision to ban fireworks comes after Governor Kate Brown declared a state of emergency throughout Oregon due to the threat of wildfires.

The ban will remain in effect through noon on July 14, 2021.

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