A ban on all open and backyard burning will take effect Saturday, June 15, in Linn, Benton and Marion counties.
The Oregon Department of Forestry and the fire defense boards of the three counties announced the ban, which aims to reduce the incidence of open debris burns escaping control. The restrictions will extend through Oct. 15 or later, depending on fire danger.
"We are seeing a lot of cured fuels occurring in east Linn County raising fire concerns," said Mike Beaver, Linn County Fire Defense Board chief. "The dry weather has fuels at late July dryness levels. Everyone needs to do their part for us to have a safe fire season."
The open burning restrictions coincide with the current air-quality rules set forth by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. Those rules already forbid open burning within three miles of cities over 1,000 in population and six miles from cities over 50,000 in population after June 15. These burn restrictions expand the geographical scope to include areas outside the three- and six-mile limit.
Benton County Fire Defense Board Chief Rick Smith.
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"Along with this ban on residential burning, we hope that the public has an increased awareness of wildfires and what they can do to help protect their own property," said Rick Smith, Benton County Fire Defense Board chief. "The work that a property owner does now keeping a defensible space around their property will make the difference between losing a home or structure, and keeping their valuable investment intact during a wildfire event.
"We would also ask property owners to explore other options during this burn ban. Options to burning include, chipping, recycling centers and composting are now available to the public year round."
Rural fire agencies and the Oregon Department of Forestry have the authority to enforce and regulate the burn ban. Under Oregon Revised Statute Chapter 477, the department may issue citations for violation of the burning restrictions.
For more information on the open burning restrictions as well as advice on safe debris disposal, contact the nearest Department of Forestry office or the local fire department.