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NE Bend illegal fireworks ‘show’ sparks anger from some neighbors, cheers from others

(Update: adding video, new info, comments from neighbors, Bend police)

Some neighbors say they're frustrated at lack of police response; others had no problem with 'show'

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- In the midst of an active wildfire season, and with a state of emergency still in place through the end of August, illegal fireworks were shot off from the front parking lot of Mountain View High School in northeast Bend late Monday night.

Just after 10 p.m., neighbors in the area reported hearing loud booms. It turned out to be fireworks blasting above their heads, which lasted for about five to ten minutes.

"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 blocks away. "Why are they doing that? It's so dry!"

Not everyone was upset, though. Like the very topic of fireworks, or the recent ban, the views were split.

"I did not mind what happened," Landon Coonrod said. "I actually enjoyed listening to the fireworks. I didn't mind. I'd love to see it again."

But Jamie Reitmann told NewsChannel 21 he left his house to try and put a stop to the show.

"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's 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.

"The fact that someone called, and they didn't send someone down there ... surprises me,” Burkhart-Beuning said.

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.

Central Oregon / Crime And Courts / Deschutes County / News / Top Stories / video - DO NOT USE
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Max Goldwasser

Max Goldwasser is a reporter and producer for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Max here.

Comments

77 Comments

  1. It’s right there in the headline: ILLEGAL FIREWORKS.

    If our local law enforcement officers are unwilling to uphold the law about something as life and property threatening as this, then what IS important enough?

    Feeling really disappointed (and a little furious) about Bend police right now.

      1. Vote for a Liberal mayor, hire a Liberal police chief, defund the police, tie law enforcements hands and things like traffic enforcement and illegal fireworks becomes low priority. You’re getting what you asked for!

      1. All laws are anti freedom and obeying any of them is anti patriotic.

        Drive as fast as you want on whatever of the road you please while you text. Do it for America, do it for freedom.

      2. Brushfire
        I have NEVER texted while driving…
        Never done drugs, never even smoked pot. Never been arrested. Never stolen anything.
        And, I’m not the exception either…or religious.
        Just raised right.

      1. We seem to be moving to constitutional LE, with sheriffs and PDs deciding which laws they want to uphold or ignore based on their individual ideologies. Step backwards to the wild wild west.

  2. Jon Skidmore needs to have a meeting with Chief Krantz. If something like this does not warrant a response, then the ban Skidmore imposed is a joke.

  3. Hmmm…….guess you can’t call 911 to report someone is chasing you with a knife…….until after you’ve been stabbed by said knife.

    Doesn’t make much sense to put a ban on Fireworks to prevent fires, if you have to wait for a fire to start due to fireworks…….before you can report illegal firework activity.

  4. Fireworks are not actually banned in Bend. A ban that has no enforcement behind it is meaningless. Bend PD says the only thing they want you to do if you see violations of this “ban” is to send them an email. In other words, they’re totally OK with the use of fireworks in the city.

  5. They way I understood it was Bend Police said it’s not an emergency to use the 911 line for. Probably instructed her to call non-emergency line since there were no “fires or injuries”.

    1. Are you advocating we dont enforce laws until after someone has been harmed as a result of breaking them? Because that would make life awfully interesting. And dangerous.

      1. Fireworks are not a right or freedom. They are a privilege like driving which can be revoked at any time without violating your civil rights.

  6. With the amount of fires in this state and current extreme fire risk it has got to take a special kind of stupid to play with anything flammable right now, legal or illegal. Just because a fire didn’t break out this time does not mean it couldn’t have, and does not mean it wouldn’t the next time. Not worth the risk!!!

  7. On the reservation there’s a designated place for the members to light off fireworks. The concern was that banning would not prevent them from being lit, yet fire threat and safety had to be addressed. There was a compromise on both ends. Isolated incidents will always occur but the number is far less. Plus, the locals do a pretty good show for each other.

      1. There was a designated place ..it was Pilot Butte and the city put on a show..didn’t burn down the hill this time either. So this illegal fire-works activity was just dumb. But you can’t fix stupid .

  8. I disagree with the “no harm no foul” comparison.

    By that logic, I can speed and should not get a ticket. It’s only an emergency and an infraction if and when I have an accident. Same with drinking & driving.

    1. If your house caught on fire would you still be laughing? This has 100% nothing to do with political parties it has to do with common sense. You make this type of comment while a new fire burns in LaPine that grew to 600 acres in a matter of hours. Everybody should be triggered right now this is our home!

      1. It’s all about political parties. Trumpers believe that they should be able to do anything they want. Screw everyone else. The idiotic followers of DJT have the mantra of “What would Trump do?” Sort of like what would Jesus do, but on a greater plain.

  9. Bend has been extremely dry practically every year for the past 40 years I have been here. Fireworks have always been popular on the 4th of July. Everybody should be careful lighting fireworks. There are always ding dongs who are careless that spoil the fun for others. I am not worried about forests catching fire when people are lighting them in town. Bunch of complainers. They are just fireworks.Take a pill…

  10. So remember: If your home or property get damaged by any fireworks like this, direct your lawsuits squarely at the police and the city.

    1. The babies are the people who think the rules dont apply to them and that they can endanger other people and their property for their own enjoyment. That “open area” was near a school and could have easily set the place on fire and spread in this weather.

  11. Wow. Playing with dynamite. It’s so dry. And for the police not to show??? What can you expect. A police chief from Portland & a major like Sally what’s her name. Yep Bend is soon to be the next Portland. So sad

    1. The next Portland? It’s been the next Portland for at least 19 years now it’s gonna be even worse enjoy all you liberal pieces of well you know.

  12. If the young man who was interviewed thought the ILLEGAL fireworks display was so cool and would enjoy seeing it again; maybe he should spend a summer on a wildland firefighting crew. I worked almost 20 fire seasons and there is NOTHING cool about it. I loved the work but it took summer away from my family and myself. We spent every summer waiting for a call from dispatch. He should grow up and face reality. Those fireworks are ILLEGAL for a reason.

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