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On Monday, June 28, 2021, Mayor Rob McFarland, by executive order, signed an emergency declaration temporarily prohibiting the discharge of aerial fireworks in the City of North Bend.
The City consulted wildland fire experts before deciding to prohibit aerial fireworks this 4th of July. The emergency declaration is in response to the increased wildland fire threat related to the unusually dry spring, the recent record heatwave and continuing hot temperatures forecast for the upcoming holiday weekend.
According to the U.S. Forest Service Wildfire Assessment System, which monitors the combustibility of forests, risk of severe fire danger in North Bend is currently rated as ‘very high’ and the combustibility factor of the forests surrounding the City is currently rated at 95 which equates to severe fire hazard.
Per the Executive Order, “The use of fireworks during and immediately following a record heatwave and record dry conditions – ripe for wildland fire – constitutes a dangerous threat to the health and safety of the public.”
In order to prevent and address potential emergencies and disasters resulting from the current extreme wildland fire threat, the discharge of any aerial fireworks in the City is prohibited from June 28th – October 31, 2021.
Certain fireworks, even if legally purchased at state-approved fireworks stands or on tribal reservations, are prohibited under the Emergency Declaration.
Ground and small fireworks devices are allowed under the declaration as long as they are contained in a safe area and discharged on surfaces that are non-combustible and with sufficient distance from combustible materials.
Mayor McFarland said, “I want the public to know that we did not take this decision lightly, yet we are choosing to err on the side of caution due to this year’s unique conditions. With unseasonably dry conditions, coupled with the ongoing extreme heat, we felt it was in the best interest of public safety to prohibit aerial fireworks this year. We thank the public for its understanding and cooperation in helping prevent fires that could be devastating to our community and our surrounding environment.”
The discharge of ground and small fireworks devices is allowed from 9AM to midnight on July 4th. No fireworks or aerial devices may be discharged in any public park or other public property. The fine for discharging aerial fireworks is $750 for each violation.