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