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Fireworks during the Fourth of July are a tradition, but more fires are reported on this day than on any other of the year in the United States. Fireworks cause nearly half of them.


Each year in the United States, we celebrate the Fourth of July with community parades, picnics, barbecues, and fireworks - the things of which happy memories are made. But sadly, Independence Day also includes tragic events and injuries resulting from illegal fireworks use and is both traumatizing and harmful to children, animals, and a growing number of war veterans who deserve our loyalty the most.

Completely aside from the danger (both legal and personal) of exploding illegal fireworks, there's a huge risk of fire and property damage. 

Due to unusually hot temperatures and dry conditions, PF&R is announcing an immediate ban on the use of all legal and illegal fireworks. This difficult decision has been made recognizing that it will have a serious impact to those businesses dependent on the sale of fireworks and many of us who had plans to include fireworks with our July 4th 2021 celebration. PF&R Chief Sara Boone, along with her command staff and Commissioner-in-charge, Jo Ann Hardesty, carefully examined the impact recent weather conditions have had on our city and concluded that a ban on fire works is the right thing to do for the protection of our residents.

“If we don’t take this proactive step now, I fear the consequences could be devastating” said Chief Boone. “It is not easy to make a decision like this so close to our national holiday but as Fire Chief I feel I have a higher responsibility to sometimes make unpopular decisions during unprecedented times to protect life, property and the environment.”

Please do not call 911 to report fireworks use! It is very important that our 911 system be kept for reporting only active fires and serious medical problems. Your cooperation with this will save lives!

Fire Investigators will not be patrolling for fireworks use but are sending a strong warning that they will be INVESTIGATING ALL FIRES THAT HAVE A CONNECTION TO FIREWORKS. If your firework use is found as a cause, you will be held responsible. Fireworks use that causes injury or extensive damage can result in heavy fines and/or jail time.

Fireworks Facts

  • During fireworks season 2020 (June 23 through July 6) there were a total of 223 fires and 44 were caused by fireworks in the City of Portland.
  • On July 4, 2020: 18 of 36 fires in Portland were caused by fireworks.
  • As reported by the Oregon State Fire Marshal, for the five years through 2019, there were 1,173 reported fireworks-related fires in Oregon, resulting in more than $4.9 million in property loss and contents damage. During that same period, fires resulting from fireworks resulted one death and 37 injuries.
  • According to Multnomah County Animal Services, the 10-day period around July 4th experiences a 25% increase in dogs and cats entering the shelter when compared with a typical 10-day period in the summer. For more information go to: or
  • The types of fireworks that produced the most injuries were mortars (Illegal in Oregon), fountains (legal in Oregon), and sparklers (legal in Oregon). These three types accounted for over two-thirds of the injuries. Over half of the injuries were to fingers or hands.

Alternatives to Fireworks and Safety Tips

Fireworks Alternatives and Safety Tips
A list of safety tips and alternatives to fireworks

Keep Pets Safe/Secure This Fourth of July

The Oregon Humane Society wants every pet owner to enjoy the holiday while keeping their pet safe and secure. Here are some easy to follow suggestions to make sure the “rocket’s red glare” don’t upset your dog or cat.


Tips to Help Ensure Your Pets Don’t Run Away Because Fireworks Can Scare Dogs (and Cats) Independence Day is not a time of celebration for our pets. The fireworks that we humans find so thrilling can drive pets, especially dogs, into a state of utter panic. The explosions (even miles away), the high-pitched swoosh of rockets climbing into the sky, the flashes of light - these can all be overwhelming sensory assaults. If your pet is terrified of fireworks, you probably know the signs: He cowers, trembles in fear or hides and appears disoriented. Some dogs become so frightened they take drastic action. They can crash through a screen door, jump out of a window or leap a fence. Every year, Portland animal shelters have their hands full dealing with lost dogs that bolted on July 4, cats that have gone missing and anxious owners looking for them. Sadly, some lost pets are never recovered. There are ways to make July 4 safer and less stressful for pets. Keep your pet inside as much as possible on July 4 (and for a few days before and after if your pet is extremely phobic about fireworks). If you find a stray animal, please keep them with you until your local animal shelter is open and ready to receive them. The Oregon Humane Society urges pet owners to follow the suggestions below to ensure their pets will not run off.

1) Make sure all pets, even indoor-only cats, are wearing a collar with an identification tag that includes your name and telephone number. A microchip is also a good idea. Terrified animals will become confused and disoriented. They may end up miles from home or deep under a neighbor’s porch. This simple precaution will save a lot of anguish, time, and energy.

2) Walk dogs in the early evening – well before nightfall – to prevent undue stress from noisy fireworks.

3) Dogs, and cats, who are agitated should be put into a bathroom or other room with no windows, with the door secure. Remember screen doors will not keep in a charging dog.

4) In extreme cases, check with your veterinarian about tranquilizers.

If your pet becomes lost during the holiday (or at any time):

1) Immediately check with your local animal control agency first.

2) Put up flyers with a photo and detailed description of the missing pet.

3) Check around the neighborhood carefully. Lost cats have been found days later hiding under a bush in front of their owners’ homes. For dogs, expand the search area further than expected as a precaution.

Contact Information of Shelters in the Portland Metro and SW Washington Area

Clackamas County Dog Services

13141 SE Hwy 212, Clackamas, OR


Hours: lost/found assistance Monday – Saturday 8:30am - 5pm Closed on Sunday, holidays, including 4th of July.

Clark County Animal Protection & Control

1300 Franklin St, Vancouver, WA


Dove Lewis Emergency

1945 NW Pettygrove, Portland, OR


Open 24 hours every day.

Humane Society for SW Washington

1100 NE 192nd Ave., Vancouver, WA


Hours: Mon – Fri 10am – 6pm; Sat & Sun 10am – 5pm

Multnomah County Animal Services 

1700 W. Historic Columbia River Hwy. Troutdale, OR


Hours: Tues, Thurs, Fri 11am – 6pm, Wed 12pm – 6pm, Sat & Sun 11am – 4:30pm. Closed on Mon, holidays & 4th of July.

Oregon Humane Society

1067 NE Columbia Blvd., Portland, OR


Hours: Sun – Wed 10am – 7pm, Thurs – Sat 10am – 9pm Closed on 4th of July.

Washington County Animal Services

Bonnie L. Hays Small Animal Shelter

1901 SE 24th Ave. Hillsboro, OR


Hours: Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri, Sat 9am – 6pm, Wed 12pm – 6pm Closed on 4th of July.