From Oregon Department of Foresty
In recent weeks fire agencies in Central Oregon have responded to numerous fires caused by rekindled and escaped debris burns. Recent precipitation and cooler temperatures may give a false sense of security, but this weather pattern will soon be replaced by warmer and drier conditions with increased chances for rekindled fires and faster spread of sparks from burning material.
“Even leaving your fire unattended for a moment can lead to fire spreading to adjacent grass, brush and trees and can quickly get out of control. With wildfire season just around the corner fire agencies have seen an increase in preventable wildfires.
It is unlawful to leave your burn unattended at any time, for ANY length of time. When your burn is complete, ensure that the burn pile is cold to the touch. Property owners are encouraged to take advantage of local landfill recycling programs including Fire Free events and use alternate methods such as chipping to eliminate the material. When burning follow the practices below to reduce the potential for escaped fire. Immediately call 911 if your burn gets out of control.
Safe practices to follow when burning backyard debris:
· Call before you burn. Check with your local fire department or Department of Forestry to determine if you need a permit and if burning is allowed.
· Don’t burn on windy days.
· Keep the fire small, less than 4’ in diameter. Add material as the fire burns down.
· Clear the area around the fire to mineral soil for at least 10’. Including above your burn area, make sure there are no branches or powerlines above.
· Have tools on site, including a shovel and water.
· Monitor your fire at all times.
· Do not use accelerants to start your fire.
· Burn only yard debris—organic material.
· Make sure your fire is completely out and cool to the touch. Revisit the burn area in the following days and weeks to verify the burn has not rekindled as the weather warms and winds blow.
For information for reducing wildfire impacts in Deschutes County visit www.projectwildfire.org, and for more tips on wildfire prevention visit Keep Oregon Green at www.keeporegongreen.org.