EUGENE, Ore. — Big changes for using fireworks in Eugene are in effect.
And if you don’t follow the new rules, you could face a fine of up to $500.
Eugene city councilors approved two new ordinances Monday night.
Now that two new ordinances have taken effect in Eugene, police and firefighters are working to educate people about the changes.
And, they’re dispatching extra enforcement to ensure safety over the holidays.
“Now they (fireworks) can only be used between June 23rd and July 6th, which are also the dates when they’re available for sale, and then they can also be used December 31st and January 1st,” said Lt. Fellman, Eugene Police Department.
Those use dates changed from the original draft proposing the days be limited to just July 3 through July 4, and New Year’s Eve into New Year’s Day, which vendors say could have hurt them.
“I think that definitely would’ve impacted sales more. I mean, I think it’s difficult whenever you can purchase something and not use it immediately,” said Jason Trout, TNT Fireworks area manager.
The other ordinance adopted now includes unruly use of fireworks in the social host ordinance. Vendors and customers say although there are restrictions in place now,
“This is the new rule. This is what we need to abide by and hopefully in the coming years, people will start purchasing more of our fireworks rather than dealing with illegal fireworks coming into the city,” Trout said.
“It seems unfortunate, but there’s still opportunities to use the fireworks outside of them that I’d look for,” said Eugene resident Simon Blatz.
Now fire officials and police are focusing on education and enforcement.
“Please be a responsible neighbor. Consider others in your celebration plans. Choose a safe location if you choose to celebrate with fireworks. Buy only legal fireworks from an approved Oregon retail stand,” said Amy Linder of Eugene-Springfield Fire.
“For the new ordinance, we’ll do warnings where appropriate as much as possible to help people learn about the new dates once we’re past July 5th, and it’s no longer legal to use legal fireworks again. But we’re also going to be out in significant numbers on July 4th doing enforcement on illegal fireworks,” Fellman said.
Police and the fire department are having an illegal fireworks turn-in on Saturday, July 2 at Second Avenue and Chambers Street in Eugene.
Lt. Fellman says Eugene police has an email and phone tip line to report any illegal fireworks. He says any reports will be investigated like any other crime and prosecuted based on evidence.
Report illegal fireworks use in progress: 541-682-5111
Report a tip of possession/use of illegal fireworks: 541-682-8888
Report a tip via email (checked periodically)