Eugene Springfield Fire and Eugene Police and the Metro Explosive Disposal Unit have been taking steps to reduce the volume of unlawful displays, including through public service announcements, education and enforcement. This year, more emphasis was placed on outreach and enforcement. The goal is to raise awareness and reduce illegal fireworks hazards. June 24, 2014, the Eugene City Council approved two City Code changes to address the pervasive use of fireworks, which raises many concerns for the safety and wellbeing of animals, senior citizens, military veterans, refugees, and community members at large. There has also been concern regarding injuries and fires caused by fireworks that can damage property and the environment.
Eugene Police staffed additional officers from July 2, to July 5, while Fire crews patrolled neighborhoods to note and report illegal fireworks activity. There was also an Illegal Fireworks Amnesty Turn-in Day on June 28.
Fireworks Enforcement Statistics July 3, to July 5.
PRELIMINARY CONTACT WAS ATTEMPTED AT 77 RESIDENCES FROM LAST YEARS CALLS.
• POSSESSION ILLEGAL FIREWORKS CITATIONS - 1 • ADVISED REGARDING FIREWORKS USE - 17• QUIET ON ARRIVAL OR GONE ON ARRIVAL - 69• RESOLVED OR UNFOUNDED - 4
Previous Years – Illegal Fireworks Calls in Eugene2015 = 2322014 = 233
The City Code Changes made in June 2014:
1) Within Eugene, fireworks that are legal for retail purchase can be used only between June 23 and July 6 and December 31 and January 1. (City Code 4.934).
2) The use of illegal fireworks during anytime of the year, or the use of fireworks that are legal for retail purchase other than between June 23 and July 6 and December 31 and January 1, has been added to the Social Host ordinance ( 4.670).
The social host, or ordinance on unruly gatherings, holds individuals criminally responsible for hosting, organizing and allowing an unruly event or social gathering. Property owners where the event is hosted will also be penalized if there are multiple violations of this ordinance at the same property. The Eugene Municipal Court has assigned a base fine of $375 for criminal violations of this ordinance. Both hosts and property owners could be civilly liable for police, fire and public works response to repeated illegal gatherings that fall under this ordinance.
Information about fireworks has also being sent out through media/social media, Neighborhood Watch groups, Neighborhood Associations, and fireworks vendors. ###