Bend, OR

NE Bend Illegal Fireworks Spark Outrage

Alexandra Tsuneta

A fireworks ban has been in place prior to July 4th due to wildfires in the area and extremely dry conditions

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An illegal fireworks show sparked outrage from neighbors in Northeast Bend when somebody began setting off the "show" in the parking lot of Mountain View High School. In the midst of an active wildfire season, and with a state of emergency still in place through the end of August, entitled residents decided to take it upon themselves to put their neighbors and others in danger.

The current fire season is unprecedented and neighbors voiced their outrage at both those setting the fireworks off and the lack of police response.

"Oh, I was sleeping really soundly, in the bed, feeling all cozy -- then all of a sudden, I started hearing loud booms and I thought, 'Oh no -- that's got to be fireworks,'" said Shari Burkhart-Beuning, who lives a couple of blocks away. "Why are they doing that? It's so dry!"

"I mean, c'mon!” Reitmann said. “With everything that's going on -- what do we have, two fires now in La Pine, and the big one up in Grandview and stuff like that? And there are people doing stupid stuff like that? It's just uncalled for."

Reitmann said a neighbor called Deschutes County 911 to report the fireworks, but police never showed up. Police claimed that the fireworks were not on the top of their "priority list".

There is a current active fire warning in Bend as well as an unprecedented amount of wildfires throughout the region.

According to KTVZ, "People can also report fireworks through the joint email account from Deschutes County and the city of Bend: fireworks@bendoregon.gov. Since July 1, that account has received 369 fireworks-related emails. Meanwhile, Bend Police have received 47 fireworks-related calls in that span. Those have only resulted in two citations. Bend Police Lt. Juli McConkey said, "If it's not an immediate risk to life persons or property, then we're going to not have it as high on our priority list.”

McConkey said the email account is mainly used to review the total number of complaints and general points of concern at the end of the season, as well as provide information in case any fire or crime does occur.

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digital nomad | queer, Jewish, she/they | ☕️ | degrees in sociology and women’s studies

Bend, OR
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