Celebrating Independence Day may look a little different this year. Although annual festivals and summer activities have been canceled or restricted due to COVID-19, there are still ways to enjoy summertime celebrations while managing your risks and keeping Oregonians safe.
As we are all aware, COVID-19 is present and on the rise in our communities. Simple actions such as keeping a 6 ft. distance from others, regular hand washing and wearing a face covering are all ways to manage the risk of spreading COVID to others.
Consider other ways to celebrate – with family and in small groups. If fireworks are a tradition you must maintain, keep a bucket of water or hose nearby, and maintain a safe distance from people, pets and buildings. Always purchase legal fireworks and use them only in areas where they are allowed. Remember, all fireworks are prohibited on Oregon State beaches, parks, campgrounds, and state and federal forest lands; check your local jurisdiction for restrictions.
Multiple areas in Oregon are abnormally dry with much of the state experiencing severe drought. This makes for elevated wildfire conditions and increased risk. Help manage the risk of human-caused wildfire by practicing basic wildfire safety at home, at work, and when you are out and about – hiking, camping and enjoying Oregon scenic areas. If you do travel for the holiday weekend, plan to stay close to home.
“Show your independence this 4th of July and make choices to keep you, your family and your community safe,” says Andrew Phelps, director of Oregon’s Office of Emergency Management. “Stay informed about fireworks safety to mitigate fire danger; maintain physical distancing and wear face coverings when socializing during holiday celebrations. It’s up to each of us to make the small changes that make a big difference.”