Independence Day 2022: fireworks policies in & around Vancouver

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In 2021, on the tails of a record-breakingly hot June (remember how it was hotter than the Mojave Desert in Portland for a second there?!), a fireworks ban was instated across Multnomah and Clark counties. Those bans have since been lifted; however don’t think just because we had a super-rainy June this year, that means fire danger has lessened much. Here’s a quote from Dave Schmitke of Clark County Fire District 61

“Everybody thinks, oh, it was so rainy in June. We can light off fireworks wherever we want to, because it rained so much in June. That doesn’t matter. We have a triangle of factors for fire danger. It is heat, low humidity, and wind. And if you think about it, within the last seven days we have had that.”

If you ask us, it’s best to celebrate other ways, like attending Ft. Vancouver’s Summer Fest (Sunday 7/3, kicks off at 11a and lasts through dusk, free to all), or Portland’s Waterfront Blues Fest which is triumphantly returning after a two year hiatus (the fireworks show caps the four-day festival on Monday night; passes are still available at $35). Here’s a long list of other fun events from OregonLive, or you can check out our Fourth of July article from last year for some great recipes and craft ideas!

If you’re ready to safely set off some fireworks, though, be aware of the complex patchwork of laws surrounding their use, including approved timeframes. This article from KATU does a wonderful job detailing local jurisdictions’ rules on both their sale and when/where they’re allowed, but here’s the basics pertaining to actually setting them off:

  • Within Vancouver limits: no ❌
  • In other parts of Clark County: yes ✅ Input your address on this mapto see whether you’re good; you’ll find some safety tips there, too
  • Within Portland limits: no ❌
  • In other parts of Multnomah County: yes ✅ They don’t have an equivalent map, so just do an internet search on your city’s particular laws. There’s also a helpful FAQ on the State Fire Marshall’s website

Whatever your plans are, we hope you enjoy the long weekend surrounded by friends and family!