Leave Fireworks at Home, Have a Safe and Scenic Independence Day

Release Date: Jun 30, 2016

Contact(s): Rachel Pawlitz, 541-308-1744

Hood River, OR - As we prepare for Independence Day, visitors to Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area are reminded to make safety a priority, keep their activities low impact, and leave fireworks at home.

Fireworks are never allowed on federal public lands. Possessing, discharging, or using any kind of firework or other explosive device on public lands is prohibited year-round, regardless of weather conditions or holidays. Even small, seemingly innocent, devices like sparklers can start fires.

“Enjoying your federal lands is a fun and meaningful way to celebrate our Nation’s independence,” said Burditt, Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Manager. “Please be safe this weekend, and help us keep the Scenic Area just as spectacular for the future.”

Local communities throughout the Gorge will host fireworks displays with the magnificent Columbia River Gorge as a natural backdrop. Attending one of these locally organized events is an excellent finale for a day spent enjoying public lands.

Most of wildfires in the Gorge are human-caused, so please help reduce the risk with these tips:

  • Attend campfires at all times, with water and a shovel nearby. Any time you leave the area, put out the campfire to the point it is cool to the touch. Build campfires only in cleared open areas.
  • Do not bring fireworks or other explosive devices, including sparklers, onto federal lands.
  • When smoking, always dispose of cigarette debris in some type of an ashtray.
  • Avoid driving and parking in tall grass or on roads with heavy fine fuels accumulations. Exhaust particles, hot exhaust pipes and hot catalytic converters can start grass fires.
  • Maintain proper tire pressure, as exposed wheel rims can throw sparks.
  • Sparks from dragging chains, exhaust from ATV’s and motorcycles can start grass fires. Spark arresters are required on all recreational and portable gasoline-powered equipment.

Remember your safety is your responsibility when heading onto trails and rivers. Please bring life jackets if you are boating on a river. If you are hiking, please bring the 10 essentials, respect signs, barriers, and closures and take precautions near steep drop-offs. Maintain awareness and a safe distance from cliffs when taking photographs or selfies. Watch for poison oak and do tick checks on yourselves, your children, and pets.

Many popular trails require dogs to be kept on leash. Please bring bags and pack out your pet’s waste so others can enjoy the trail.

Find interactive maps, alerts, and information on Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area recreation sites at www.fs.usda.gov/crgnsa. Follow our updates at facebook.com/crgnsa or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/crgnsa.

The Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area encompasses 292,500 acres of Washington and Oregon, where the Columbia River cuts a spectacular river canyon through the Cascade Mountains. The USDA Forest Service manages National Forest lands in the National Scenic Area and works with states, counties, treaty tribes, and partners to protect and enhance scenic, natural, cultural, and recreational resources of the Columbia River Gorge while encouraging local economic development consistent with that protection.