City of Hood River officials remind everyone to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday safely. July 4 celebrations will be non-traditional in 2020 due to cancellations of large holiday events and public health guidelines that limit gatherings.

The area’s recent history of wildfires and the COVID-19 virus make this year particularly risky for the public and challenging for emergency responders. Community members should be aware of new laws and observe current safety guidelines going into the holiday weekend, stated City Manager Rachael Fuller and Fire Chief Leonard Damian in a press release.

A 2018 fireworks ordinance adopted by city council permits the sale and use of fireworks within city limits only from June 23 through July 7. City Ordinance 2047 specifically prohibits the discharge of fireworks after July 15 until Nov. 15.

From Nov. 16 to July 14, use of fireworks are allowed with exceptions for fire emergencies or burn bans as declared by the City of Hood River Fire Chief.

“This local ordinance is a result of heightened fire risk locally during our traditional fire season,” Leonard explained. “Natural high winds in the area, warm temperatures and drier conditions intensify dangers, raising threats even in areas that may seem harmless.

"Please help keep our local first responders stay safe and ready to respond to large scale emergencies by observing local rules and health guidelines.”

Oregon State Law allows local government to prohibit or exercise limitations on fireworks sales and use. For further information, contact Hood River Fire & EMS at 541-386-3939.

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