Message from the Fire Chief
May 7, 2020
RE: 2020 Fourth of July Community Fireworks
Dear Canby Community:
The Canby Fire District fireworks display scheduled for the Fourth of July has unfortunately been canceled. The Fire District management team waited as long as possible, in order to fully evaluate all the Governor’s orders, before reaching the difficult decision to cancel the Canby Fireworks Display for 2020.
The Canby Fire District Board of Directors declared a State of Emergency on March 25, 2020. This declaration followed the State of Emergency declared by the City of Canby on March 17, 2020. The Canby Fire District shall continue to follow the Governor’s orders. Canby Fire District continues to respond to possible Coronavirus patients throughout our community.
The following information ultimately has led to the necessary decision to cancel this year’s display:
- As Fire Chief I am sworn to uphold the laws in the State of Oregon and to prevent loss of life and reduce injuries. The District’s Mission Statement reads as follows:
“Highly skilled, efficient response to medical, ambulance, and fire emergencies, while working with our community to prevent, and prepare for, the next emergency.”
- The Governor’s Executive Order 20-24 extended the State of Emergency to July 6, 2020. The Governor has established a three-phase plan for re-opening Oregon, but to date, the State of Oregon has not entered the first phase. It is anticipated that this may happen May 15, 2020. Phase one will allow for up to 25 people to gather while maintaining social distancing. Before phase one can begin, the County must hire 60 contact tracers and establish the system. More of the County requirements can be found on the Clackamas County website. You can also view the last Canby Community meeting with Representative Drazan who provided additional information, on our Canby Fire District Facebook page.
- The phase two initiation date is unknown. Phase two will begin three weeks after all phase one parameters have been met. Phase two will allow up to 50 people to gather while maintaining social distancing. If all the parameters have been accomplished, June 5, 2020 is the projected start date. All of this is subject to change.
- Based on Governor Brown’s press conference held on May 7, 2020, no large crowds shall gather until a vaccine has been created. This would include the Canby Fireworks Display. The initiation date of this phase is also unknown. Again, parameters must be accomplished by the County before the plan can begin and move through the phases. There would be no way for us to meet social distancing requirements at the fireworks display.
- The State Fire Marshall may still revoke fireworks display permits regardless of COVID-19, due to an increase in fire danger. We are waiting for a decision on this.
- To plan and organize the fireworks display takes considerable time by the staff of the Fire District, the School District, and various community members, in order to put this large show on. The Canby Fire District’s highest priorities have been directed toward the COVID-19 planning and response. We are still working weekly with maintaining the safety for emergency responders and assisting retirement facilities with protective clothing.
- The organizers have received most of the funding that would be needed for this year’s show; however, would not have the funding in order to provide next year’s show. We know that our businesses and citizens are dealing with a loss of revenue and un-employment, so now is not the time to ask for donations.
Please know this was not an easy decision to make and we know it will be an unfavorable one. Be assured that our number one priority is, and always will be, keeping our community safe. With that, your Fire District is committed to providing the Canby Community a fireworks display once again, in 2021.
James X. Davis
Canby Fire District