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Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal asks Oregonians to keep fireworks use legal and safe (Photo) - 06/22/22

SALEM, Ore. – “Keep it legal, keep it safe” is the message from the Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal (OSFM). The 2022 fireworks retail sales season begins June 23rd and runs through July 6th in Oregon. The OSFM would like everyone to know which fireworks are legal, where they can be used, and how to use them safely.

To reduce the risk of starting a wildfire, some local governments in Oregon have put in place regulations, perhaps including bans, on the sale or use of fireworks. It is important to check your local regulations and follow them where you live or may be traveling to celebrate the 4th of July holiday.

“We ask that those using fireworks be responsible when using them,” Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal Assistant Chief Deputy Mark Johnston said. “Every year, we see fires started because of improper use or use of illegal fireworks. Our message is to keep it legal and keep it safe as people celebrate the holiday.”

Consumer legal fireworks can only be purchased from permitted fireworks retailers and stands. State regulations also limit where those fireworks may be used. People who plan to visit public lands and parks are asked to leave all fireworks at home. The possession and use of fireworks are prohibited in national parks and forests, on Bureau of Land Management lands, U.S. Fish and Wildlife properties, state beaches, state parks, and in-state campgrounds. The use of fireworks is also prohibited on many private lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry.

For residents who purchase legal fireworks, fire officials encourage everyone to practice the four Bs of safe fireworks use:

  • Be prepared before lighting fireworks: keep water available by using a garden hose or bucket.
  • Be safe when lighting fireworks: keep children and pets away from fireworks. Never use fireworks near or on dry grass or vegetation.
  • Be responsible after lighting fireworks: never relight a dud. Please wait for 15 to 20 minutes, then soak it in a bucket of water before disposal.
  • Be aware: use only legal fireworks and use them only in legal places.

Oregon law prohibits the possession, use, or sale of any firework that flies into the air, explodes, or travels more than 12 feet horizontally on the ground without a permit issued by the OSFM. Fireworks, commonly called bottle rockets, Roman candles, and firecrackers, are illegal in Oregon without a permit. Officials may seize illegal fireworks and charge offenders with a class B misdemeanor, which could result in a fine of up to $2,500. Those who misuse fireworks or allow fireworks to cause damage are liable and may be required to pay fire suppression costs or other damages. Parents are also liable for fireworks damage caused by their children.

The OSFM has published FAQs for commonly answered questions about the sale and legal use of consumer fireworks, permits for the retail sale of fireworks, and state rules for their use and enforcement activities. OSFM’s fireworks education materials for sharing on social media also can be found on its website.

MEDIA AVAILABILITY: Let's talk defensible space! - 06/13/22

SALEM, Ore. – To better prepare Oregonians for the growing threat of wildfire, the Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal is hosting several media availabilities around the state to talk about defensible space; where to start, what to do, and how to be better protected.  

The OSFM’s Fire Risk Reduction Specialists will be on hand to show defensible space best practices in one-on-one interviews with interested media partners.

Pendleton, OR
Thursday, June 16th, 2022
3:00 p.m.

Members of the press interested in scheduling an interview should set up a time with OSFM’s Public Affairs staff.

MEDIA AVAILABILITY: Let's talk defensible space! - 06/06/22

SALEM, Ore. – To better prepare Oregonians for the growing threat of wildfire, the Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal is hosting several media availabilities around the state to talk about defensible space; where to start, what to do, and how to be better protected.  

The OSFM’s Fire Risk Reduction Specialists will be on hand to show defensible space best practices in one-on-one interviews with interested media partners.

Bend, OR.
Tuesday, June 7th, 2022
11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Riddle, OR
Wednesday, June 8th, 2022
9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Medford, OR.
Friday, June 10th, 2022
10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Members of the press interested in scheduling an interview should set up a time with OSFM’s Public Affairs staff.

Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal launches grant opportunity to bolster wildfire response staffing - 06/02/22

SALEM, Ore. – As the heat of summer nears, and the threat of wildfire increases, the Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal (OSFM) is announcing a grant to help bolster capacity at local fire departments across the state.  

As part of the OSFM’s Response Ready Oregon Initiative, roughly $4 million is available to local fire districts and departments to bring on additional staff during the 2022 wildfire season. When applying for this grant, local fire agencies can request up to $35,000 to support upstaffing. 

This additional funding will increase on-duty capacity throughout the fire season at the local level and allow agencies to mobilize quickly to fires at the local, regional, and state (conflagration) level. Having more on-duty firefighters will help keep fires small before they can impact communities. 

“The Office of State Fire Marshal is taking a multipronged approach to combating wildfire in Oregon,” Oregon State Fire Marshal Mariana Ruiz-Temple said, “We’re investing in communities through risk reduction programs and firefighting equipment and people to keep Oregonians protected from wildfire. This grant opportunity will give the Oregon fire service much needed capacity during a critical time of year.” 

All 306 of Oregon’s local fire service agencies are eligible for this grant opportunity. For additional information or the grant application please visit https://www.oregon.gov/osp/programs/sfm/Pages/OSFM-Grants.aspx 

Current staff and volunteers would be eligible for additional hours under the grant using the current agency staffing model and pay scale. The application review will begin June 6, 2022. Applications may be considered through August 12, 2022, subject to the availability of funds. Applications will be periodically reviewed during the application window. Funding awards will be distributed on a rolling basis as applications are reviewed and approved. 

Funding for this upstaffing grant opportunity was made possible through the Oregon Legislature and Senate Bill 762.  

ABOUT RESPONSE READY OREGON 

The OSFM’s Response Ready Oregon initiative was created to help bolster capacity and modernize wildfire response within the Oregon Fire Mutual Aid System (OFMAS). The goal of Response Ready Oregon is to attack fires while they are small and keep them out of communities. 

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Oregon Defensible Space Code Development Committee Meeting - 06/02/22

SALEM, Ore. — The Oregon Defensible Space Code Development Committee will hold a virtual meeting starting at 8:30 am on Wednesday, June 8th, 2022. The committee will continue reviewing Sections 603 and 604 of the International Wildland Urban Interface Code to develop draft language. To access the agenda and meeting link, please visit the Oregon Defensible Space Code page and see the virtual meeting links for the Committee meeting.  

Written comments or questions about any aspect of the implementation of Senate Bill 762 may be submitted by email at any time to SB762@osp.oregon.gov or submitted via the Public Comment Submission Form. Written comments can be submitted before or up to 5 pm on June 7th. In addition, all upcoming Committee meetings have an opportunity for public input.

If you are a media member interested in attending the meeting, please connect with the OSFM’s Public Affairs Office by email at oregonsfm@osp.oregon.gov. To receive meeting reminders and agendas and sign up for the defensible space code process, please email SB762@osp.oregon.gov.

Background: Senate Bill 762 was passed by the 2021 Legislature and signed by Governor Brown, requiring the Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal to establish a minimum defensible space requirement for lands in areas identified on the statewide map of wildfire risk in the categories of High and Extreme. The requirements shall be consistent with and not exceed the standards pertaining only to defensible space outlined in the International Wildland-Urban Interface Code published by the International Code Council. The standards pertaining only to defensible space are outlined in sections 603 and 604 of the code. 

Meeting Recording: A post-meeting recording will be posted on the Oregon Defensible Space Code webpage, which can be accessed at https://www.oregon.gov/osp/programs/sfm/pages/oregon-defensible-space-code.aspx.

 

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