Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Current Open Burning Restrictions in the Central Oregon District

As of 12:01 a.m. on June 1, 2018 open burning, including burn barrels is prohibited on lands protected by the Central Oregon District within the John Day and Prineville Units.  This includes lands in Crook, Deschutes, Jefferson, Lake, Grant, Wheeler, Gillliam, Morrow, Umatilla, and Harney counties.

Burning in barrels with a valid permit is allowed in The Dalles Unit which includes portions of Wasco and Hood River counties. Debris pile burning is prohibited.  Effective July 1, 2018 all burning, including burn barrels will be prohibited.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Changes to Open Burning on Department of Forestry Protected Lands

[John Day, Ore.] Beginning June 1, 2018 open burning will no longer be allowed on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry’s John Day Unit.  This includes burn barrels, slash from logging activities or hazard mitigation work, and backyard debris.  Landowners are encouraged to use alternate methods to dispose of this debris or wait until after fire season when weather and fuel conditions pose a low risk of fire escaping.  Escaped debris burns are the leading human-caused fire issue in Oregon. Operators and landowners who do not comply with these restrictions could receive citations and fines, as well as be liable for any costs associated with suppression of the fire.
Campfires are still allowed, with the reminder that they should never be left unattended.  Follow these additional tips to reduce the risk of your campfire starting a wildfire: 
·       Clear the area around your campfire of all burnable material for 10 feet.
·       Don’t build your campfire under tree limbs or other flammable material.
·       Build a fire ring with rocks around your campfire.
·       Do not use an accelerant to start your fire.
·       Keep your fire small.
·       Have water and a shovel nearby.
·       Use the Drown, Stir, Drown technique to put your fire out.
·       Make sure your fire is cold to the touch before leaving the area.  If you feel heat stir in more water.
·       Additional tips can be found online at or at
Areas included in this closure are Oregon Department of Forestry protected lands within the John Day Unit of the Central Oregon District in Wheeler, Morrow, Grant, Harney, Umatilla, Crook and Gilliam counties.  If you have additional questions regarding the restriction on open burning in the John Day Unit please call the local ODF office in John Day, (541)575-1139.

Current fire conditions and other information on ODF’s Central Oregon District can be found at  

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Changes to debris burning in The Dalles Unit

The recent weather in the Gorge has given all residence a great opportunity to kick spring cleanup into full gear.  We hope that everyone is taking advantage of this time to create good defensible space around their homes, as well as taking care of the home itself.  The Oregon Department of Forestry would also like to take the time to remind everyone to practice safe burning.  As fire season is fast upon us, we would like to remind everyone to practice safe burning habits.  There have been a few escaped debris burning fires in the Gorge and South Wasco County lately, so we would like to provide some of the important steps that need to be taken to conduct safe and legal burning.   

1.      Contact your local City, Rural, or Forestry Agency to obtain a burn permit and their burning regulations.  Permits issued by Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue, Mosier Fire, or any of the Hood River County rural or city fire departments will be recognized by ODF.  All other areas must obtain a permit through ODF.

2.      Make sure your burn barrel, or other burning device, is in good condition and safe to use.  The barrel must be solid and not rusted through.  The top must be covered with a mesh screen made from 14 gauge steel or heavier, and the holes must be ¼ inch or smaller. 

3.      Take precautions to keep your fire from spreading to adjacent fuels and materials.  Keep your barrel or pile at least 40 feet from structures, 20 feet from trees, and 10 feet from any other combustible materials.  Stay on site with a shovel and charged hose until the fire is DEAD OUT!  DO NOT burn when it is windy!

4.      Make sure your fire is cold to the touch before leaving it.  Soak the area with water and stir the soil to remove any remaining heat.  Use the back of your hand to check for heat.  We recommend that you not burn any larger debris or woody materials until the fall.  Remember, open pile burning is not allowed starting May 15th,, 2018. 

Taking these steps will help to keep your spring cleaning activities safer.  Remember, if your fire escapes, you could be liable for cost and damages that occur as a result of the escape.  If you have any questions, want to report any unsafe burning, or have an escaped fire please contact your local fire agency.  We appreciate your help and support in protecting the local communities and resources.  Enjoy the weather and have a fire safe day!

If you wish to obtain a permit from ODF and for more information please visit our website at