Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Check Your Burn Piles!!

This letter recently went out to landowners/operators in the Prineville Unit, but the message is valuable for landowners across the region who may have burned debris or other material.  As the temperatures warm there is potential for any remaining heat or flame to rekindle.

Dear Landowner or Operator,

This letter is a reminder to check your burn piles to ensure that they are DEAD OUT.

Burn piles can smolder for several months, even though there may not be any visible smoke or flame. As the weather gets warmer and drier, burning in the piles becomes more active. With a little wind, fire can spread from the pile to the surrounding land. In Oregon, fires from hold-over pile burns have destroyed hundreds of acres of valuable timber and other resources. In addition, these fires have cost the landowners and the Department of Forestry hundreds of thousands of dollars to extinguish. It is very important that you make sure your burn piles are completely extinguished.

If you have done any pile burning this past season, please physically check those piles as soon as possible for hold-over heat. Use a shovel or other equipment to dig down through the ashes until you hit the soil underneath. Touch the burned fuels and soil. If they are warm to the touch, this is a sign that material is still burning. If you find piles that are still burning, completely extinguish them. ODF is willing to bring thermal cameras to your site to verify extinguishment, as a courtesy.

With the current weather conditions, we are fast approaching another record breaking fire season. With your help we can eliminate some of the potential wildfires for this coming year.

If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact your local ODF office: Sisters 541-549-2731 or Prineville 541-447-5658

Thank you very much for your cooperation.

Prineville-Sisters Unit

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Central Oregon District Burn Information

Open burning within ODF's Central Oregon District may require a permit.  Please contact your local ODF Office if you are uncertain whether a permit is required.  Sometimes a permit from your local fire department is needed, rather than from the Department of Forestry.  Typically burning small yard debris piles within a local fire department's jurisdiction will be directed by the fire department.  All burning of logging slash requires a permit from ODF.  Please follow all directions from the burn permit or burn line.

  • Open burning (other than logging slash) within the John Day Unit (outside fire department jurisdiction) does not require a permit from ODF.
  • Burning of machine piled slash piles within the John Day Unit are not allowed after March 31st.
  • All open burning within the John Day Unit will be prohibited after June 1st.  
  • Open pile burning within Wasco and Hood River counties will be closed after May 15th.  All burning including burn barrels is prohibited after July 1st.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Burn Ban In Effect for Hood River and Wasco Counties


Sunday, July 1, 2018 at 12:01am, the Oregon Department of Forestry, The Dalles Unit will enter the annual Burn Ban.  This means no open burning is permitted in Hood River and Wasco counties, including burn barrels and debris piles.   All existing permits will be void until the burn ban is lifted.  Some permits for agricultural burning may still be obtained through ODF or your local fire agency.  The ban is a coordinated effort between State, City and Rural Fire Districts, who will monitor and enforce illegal activity.  If you see illegal burning or a fire please report it as soon as possible.

Also, if you did conduct debris burning this spring, please check your burn areas to ensure that the area is cold.  Debris burns that are several months old can rekindle and escape as a result of holdover heat that may not be visible, which can subsequently cause wildfires during the hot summer months.  Please assist local fire districts in these prevention measures.