If you were planning to set off a few fireworks yourself here in Bend, you’re out of luck.
Severe drought and water shortages in the area have caused the city of Bend to ban the use of all fireworks, legal or illegal.
The City of Bend is banning the use of all fireworks until July 9.
You can still buy fireworks at stands, but if you light them off, there will be a $750 fine.
“Hopefully, maybe people can come buy some and save them for future celebrations, New Year’s or post pandemic celebrations or maybe when the ban is lifted, but for now it is what it is, so we’re just going to stick it out and hope for the best,” said Firework stand worker David Hess.
Portland and Tualatin also banned the use of fireworks shortly after Bend.
“We’re not looking to be walking around handing tickets for $750,” said Bend Assistant City Manager Jon Skidmore. “We just really need the community to understand the extreme conditions we are in and help us preserve our public safety resources and our water resources for true emergencies.”
Some organizations use TNT stands to raise money.
“Nonprofits and churches will actually fund their organizations for the whole year depending on how many fireworks they sell,” said firework stand volunteer John Lambi.
Several stands said sales will be affected, but it’s hard to tell how much and some thought the ban was a bigger issue than just safety or sales.
“I think there is probably a better approach to this,” said Jake Dennis at Discount Firework Superstore. “I think had they put a temporary ban for the heatwave and when the temperature drops back down. Lift the ban on the 3rd and the 4th.I think that’s a very good compromise, that way it is a little more even, a little more common sense and a little less communist.”
The Cities of Prineville and Madras will not ban fireworks and La Pine says there’s no ban, but city council is discussing fire safety
Sisters has had a fireworks ban since 1947.
Tuesday night the City of Redmond is also discussing whether to follow the same route as Bend with an outright ban or just work to make sure people get the message to be extra safe this year.