The fireworks on the Fourth of July in 2019. (Ron Cooper/Special to Salem Reporter)
Fourth of July has come and gone and despite Salem not instating a fireworks ban, call data shows it was a quieter year for illegal fireworks displays.
Cities across Oregon and in southwest Washington banned the use of fireworks during the holiday because of extreme drought and high fire danger. Salem didn’t, but both the Salem Fire Department and Salem Police Department responded to fewer calls this year.
Four fires were caused by fireworks from June 23 to July 6, down from five last year, according to preliminary reports from the Salem Fire Department.
Greg Walsh, Salem’s emergency manager, said two of the fires were from illegal fireworks and the other two didn’t have a firework type identified.
Salem police responded to 85 calls about fireworks compared to 134 last year. That’s for the 24 hours of July 4.
“I don’t think there was quite as many things going off,” said Lt, Treven Upkes, Salem police spokesman.
The Marion County Sheriff’s Office was slightly busier this year, responding to 71 complaints of fireworks from July 2 to July 6.
During the same time frame last year, deputies responded to 65 complaints.
Sgt. Jeremy Landers, Marion County Sheriff’s Office spokesman, said one of the fireworks calls was in the Idanha area, which burned in the Lionshead Fire last year.
In Portland, fires caused by fireworks dropped by nearly 80%, likely due to a ban on fireworks there.
Contact reporter Saphara Harrell at 503-549-6250, [email protected]
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