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Phone: 503-823-3700

Fax: 503-823-3710

55 SW Ash Street, Portland, OR 97204

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New number to call for illegal fireworks, burn ban in effect

This morning, Portland Fire Chief Erin Janssens announced a new number to call and report illegal fireworks and offered information on a burn ban in immediate effect.

This morning, Portland Fire Chief Erin Janssens announced a new number to call in order to report illegal fireworks and offered information on a burn ban in immediate effect.

Oregon law bans possession, use, or sale of any fireworks that fly, explode, travel more than one foot into the air or more than six feet on the ground. These fireworks are illegal. Fireworks not purchased from an approved vendor in Oregon are most likely illegal.

During peak fireworks periods, a new number 503-823-BOOM (2666) will be staffed by PF&R firefighters working with emergency dispatchers. If it is an emergency, such as a fire or emergency medical problem, as always, call 9-1-1. But to report illegal fireworks (without fire/injury), call 503-823-BOOM.

Having this specialized number helps on two fronts: by increasing the number of people who can take calls and help dispatch our teams of enforcement officers, we can better respond to this issue. Additionally, call takers at dispatch can focus more of their time dealing with emergency 9-1-1 calls.

Today, until further notice, based on the continuation of high temperatures and dry weather, we're placing a burn ban in effect for Multnomah County, including Portland. This will include no open fires, including any ceremonial and recreational fires. In Multnomah County, within the boundaries of Portland, Gresham, Corbett and Sauvie Island, follow these provisions:

  •   No fires, including recreational.
  •   BBQs in approved devices professionally designed and built for such use will be allowed, but not in any natural areas.
  •   Legal fireworks will be allowed, providing people exercise caution and follow safety protocols, such as:
  •   Use only in open areas over non-combustible surfaces, such as concrete or asphalt.
  •   Have water on hand to extinguish fire or to cool burns.
  •   Make a clean, metal bucket available to place expended fireworks.
  •   Never attempt to re-light a dud.

Note: If conditions were to change, ie, if we start to experience strong winds, this policy could evolve.

Illegal fireworks -- those that fly in the air, cause loud explosions and disseminate sparks or mortars over distances are banned -- and are always banned.

PF&R, working with our partners at the Portland Police Bureau, will be responding to calls of illegal fireworks, issuing citations and confiscating illegal fireworks. But we need your help: use the 503- 823-BOOM number to report.

This Fourth of July, we continue our fourth successful regional campaign to educate area residents about the problems illegal fireworks cause. We're also continuing our efforts with Portland Police to enforce the law by confiscating illegal fireworks and issuing citations to offenders.

The cost of citations for using or possessing illegal fireworks is significant: violators face steep fines can be held liable for any damages they've caused.

Over the past three years, we've issued 403 citations. Over the past two years, PF&R issued 282 citations totaling nearly $150,000 and confiscated over $100,000 worth of illegal fireworks, therefore keeping those fireworks out of our neighborhoods.

Another way the campaign is working is the number of fireworks caused fires is decreasing.

o We are in the fourth year of our campaign against illegal fireworks.
o The three years after Operation Lower the Boom was in effect saw a 30% decrease in the number of fires caused by fireworks during the period of June 23 – July 6, when compared to the three years prior to the campaign.
oThe three years after Operation Lower the Boom was in effect saw a 40% decrease in the number of fires caused by fireworks during July 4th, when compared to the three years prior to the campaign.

Portland Fire Chief Erin Janssens notes: "Fortunately as more people are becoming aware of the physical, emotional, environmental, and economic costs, it's becoming increasingly clear that illegal fireworks in the hands of amateurs are no longer a 'patriotic' act. I suggest to show our patriotism, fly U.S. flags, not fireworks."

Annual Memorial Gathering for Fallen Portland Firefighters Features Additional Event at Lone Fir Cemetery

Marker for first black firefighter to be dedicated

On June 26 at 10 am every year, Portland firefighters gather at the Portland Firefighters Park on West Burnside Street to honor those who have died in the line of duty. The honor guard performs and the commemorative bell is rung 36 times for each life lost. The Campbell Memorial service was established in 1913 to carry forward the memory of Portland's heroic Fire Chief David Campbell. Chief Campbell died in a 1911 building collapse after ordering all firefighters from the burning structure.

On June 26 this year, there will an additional event to highlight the history and sacrifice of firefighters: a memorial at Lone Fir Cemetery at 11:30 am that same day will dedicate commemorative gravemarkers to honor 12 of the 36 Portland firefighters who have died in the line of duty. Lone Fir has a special firefighter's section (block 5 located between SE Morrison and Stark Streets, and between SE 20th and 26th Avenues). This event will also dedicate nine additional gravemarkers placed on firefighter graves with lost or missing markers. Of note is the inclusion for the first time of Gus Waterford, whose grave was discovered by a class of Madison High School students. Waterford, who was born in 1860 and died in 1909, is Portland's first black firefighter. The public is invited to Lone Fir for this special dedication ceremony.

The Firefighter's Section (Block 5) of Lone Fir Cemetery was deeded to Portland Firefighters on November 16, 1862 by property owner Colburn Barrell. Today, Metro oversees this cemetery.

Walking in is preferred to minimize traffic in the cemetery but for those with mobility issues, driving in is an option. Signs will provide direction for those not familiar with the Firefighter's Section. Parking in the Cemetery must remain on the pavement. Parking to the side of the roads typically leaves room for other cars to pass.

PF&R requests your feedback for our strategic planning process

Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) has kicked off its next five-year strategic planning process and we can use your help.

Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) has kicked off its next five-year strategic planning process and we can use your help.

Part of our process includes an online survey to gather input from community members. Results of the survey will help guide our planning process.

Your participation in the anonymous online survey is key to making sure your fire bureau has all the information it needs to make sure we are addressing the desires of folks in our service areas. The survey takes approximately 10 minutes and your contribution is much appreciated.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YDTJSDH

Additionally, PF&R will be sponsoring three community meetings around town to gather input from the public at large. These meetings will be a drop-in format with some remarks early in the evening. The community meetings will be held:

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

- Drop-in hours 5 pm to 7 pm

- Remarks and Q+A with the Fire Chief at approximately 5:30 pm

PF&R Training Center & Fire Station #2

4800 NE 122nd Ave.

Portland, OR 97220

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

- Drop-in hours 5 pm to 7 pm

- Remarks and Q+A with the Fire Chief at approximately 5:30 pm

Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO), Gymnasium

10301 NE Glisan St.

Portland, OR 97220

Thursday, July 9, 2015

- Drop-in hours 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm

- Remarks and Q+A with the Fire Chief at approximately 5:00 pm

PF&R Fire Station #1, Skidmore Conference Room (First floor)

55 SW Ash St.

Portland, OR 97204

 Your input will be extremely valuable as we begin developing this plan for Portland Fire & Rescue’s future. Thank you in advance for your time and contribution to our 2015-2020 Strategic Plan.

Happy 100th Birthday, PF&R Arson Squad

A 100 years ago on May 30th, Portland Fire Marshal Stevens announced the appointment of three fire officers to a new Arson Squad.

A 100 years ago on May 30th, Portland Fire Marshal Stevens announced the appointment of three fire officers to a new Arson Squad. The three-person team was tasked with investigating any and all fires with suspicious circumstances. The first three members of the team were A. Groce (Captain), F.W. Roberts (Captain) and E.J. Treese (Lieutenant). 

The unit, now known as Arson Investigations, has been in continuous operation since then, although tools and techniques have improved. In the 1970s, the Arson Squad members became certified police officers, allowing them to make arrests. In 1992 Investigators brought the first Accelerant Detecting K9 onto the team. Since then the team has had three dogs. Lila, the unit’s current dog, uses her nose to help confirm whether accelerants (flammable liquids) have been used to start fires. 

The unit currently investigates approximately 1,000 fires per year. Today the unit has four field investigators who respond directly to fire scenes to determine the cause of fires. The unit also has two investigators assigned to follow up on arson crimes; this team is made up of one PF&R Investigator and one Portland Police Bureau detective. The unit currently boasts one of the best conviction rates in the country at 25%: the national average is 13%.

Portland Metro Fire Camp for Young Women Sets Dates

Learn what it takes to be a firefighter at Portland Metro Fire Camp for Young Women

The Portland Metro Fire Camp is slated for July 17-19 this year and applications are due by June 19th. Fill out the application here: www.Portlandoregon.gov/fire/firecamp.

May 9, 2015

11 am -12:30 pm

Meeting room of the North Portland Library

512 N. Killingsworth St.

Portland, OR 97217

 

June 5, 2015

6 - 7 pm

West Wing Classroom at the PF&R Training Center

4800 NE 122nd Ave

Portland, OR 97230