Fireworks fires fall in Portland, hold steady in Seattle

July 8, 2021 GMT

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Preliminary figures from Portland Fire & Rescue in Oregon show blazes caused by fireworks fell by almost 80% this year, likely because of a ban on fireworks over the Fourth of July holiday.

Fire officials said Tuesday that nine fires were caused by fireworks in Portland during this year’s fireworks season compared with 44 last year, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.

The fireworks season runs from June 23 to July 6. Portland Fire & Rescue called the ban “extremely effective” in a statement.

Drought conditions and high fire danger prompted cities across Oregon and southwest Washington to ban the use of fireworks through this year’s Fourth of July holiday.

In Seattle, where fireworks have been illegal, authorities say crews responded to 15 fires started by fireworks that caused one injury from June 28 through Tuesday, The Seattle Times reported.

There were 16 fireworks-related fires between June 28 and July 15 in 2020, according to Seattle Fire Department spokesperson David Cuerpo.

Fireworks are also banned in most of King County. This year is the last year they will be legal in unincorporated parts of the county. A preliminary count of fireworks-related fires in King County and statewide is still being compiled, according to the Washington State Patrol.

In southwest Washington, Clark County fire officials said a fireworks ban this year seems to have led to 30% fewer fires during the holiday weekend, KGW-TV reported.