BEND, OR -- This Fourth of July is the second since the city of Bend imposed a permanent ban on fireworks. However, Redmond’s City Council has decided against such a ban. Redmond Mayor George Endicott says the city is still asking people to be safe – especially in high-risk areas. "The [Dry] Canyon is a difficult area if we were to get a fire, plus it’s a natural habitat. So, please do not do fireworks in the Canyon, city parks." Endicott tells KBND News, "If you want to do them, go do them in front of your house, out in the street and use a bucket of water and all those rules the fire department tells you." And, he says, "We’re going to do a big advertising campaign to discourage use, but we’re not preventing use."
Bend City Manager Eric King acknowledges different rules in other areas mean personal fireworks are easily accessible, and says they can only do so much, "We will be focused on creating a safe environment here." King says, despite recent rain, fire danger remains high, "It’s very green everywhere; a lot of tall grasses, cheatgrass, which can actually add to some of the fire fuels. And things dry out pretty quickly in the summer. The forecast still shows a prolonged dry period." King tells KBND News, "60% of our fires are human-caused. We can’t control the lightning strikes or fierce winds that might fan a fire. But we can do our part to control our property, remove fuels and just be vigilant. As well as please sign up at Deschutes.org – sign up to get alerts so that you’re prepared in the event of a fire or any other emergency."
In Bend, you can still watch professional fireworks on the Fourth of July. The annual display launched from atop Pilot Butte starts at 10 p.m. A fireworks show is also planned for the Deschutes County Fairgrounds in Redmond on July fourth. Personal fireworks are not allowed on fairgrounds property.