Illegal use of fireworks can lead to bucks for those bangs

New Year's Eve has come and gone, but fireworks are still going off in my neighborhood. Last night someone was setting off fireworks around 11 p.m.

My husband tells me we are hearing M-80s, and it sounds as if they are going off right above our house. It terrifies our dogs and disrupts our sleep. Who can I call?

— Jamie S., Medford

Jamie, if you want to make the ruckus stop, you can help Medford police identify the noise makers. And we have it on good authority — our own City Hall reporter Damian Mann — that the local gendarmes are taking a particular interest in folks such as your neighbors.

Your question arrived just a few days before the Medford City Council instructed its police force to crack down on fireworks fanatics. (Apparently the noise has disturbed the beauty rest for not only you, but for some of our city leaders, who were quite cranky about it all.) You can find more details about that on the front page today.

But for police to crack down, they need to know there's a problem. Call the department's nonemergency number, 541-770-4783, with an address or even an approximate location and any other relative information. (This may mean you have to get out of bed and peek through the blinds, or worse, shuffle around the neighborhood in your slippers and robe.)

"The more information we have on the specific location the more likely we are to resolve the problem," said Medford police Lt. Mike Budreau. "Otherwise, everyone is on their best behavior as soon as they see a police car driving down the road."

But if the boys in blue catch them in the midst of less than best behavior with fireworks, they can hand out a citation for $150.

M-80s are illegal in Oregon, as are M-100s, bottle rockets, mortars, roman candles, missile rockets and aerial spinners. The rule is, if it explodes, flies in the air, travels more than 6 feet horizontally or more than 12 inches vertically, it's illegal, said Budreau.

Tamer fireworks, such as ground blooms, sparklers, snakes, smoke bombs and various fountains, are permitted in the city year-round, except during a declared fire season. The exception to the fire season rule is a small window from June 23 to July 6, in observation of the Fourth of July.

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by e-mail to youasked@mailtribune.com. We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.


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