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 www.oregon.gov/ODF/Documents/Fire/CampfireChecklistEnglish.pdf or at www.keeporegongreen.org
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 www.odfcentraloregon.com.