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News Releases
Burn Ban in Effect - 06/12/15
A ban on all open and backyard burning will go into effect on June 12 in Linn, Benton and Marion counties. The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) 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.

"The risk of fire is dangerously high this year due to the limited snowpack and hot, dry conditions we are already experiencing," said John Bradner, Linn County Fire Defense Board Chief. "Fire departments throughout our region are already responding to grass and wildland fires significantly earlier this summer than normal, which has prompted us to institute an earlier ban."

The June 12 debris burning prohibition applies to all lands in Linn and Benton counties, but only to ODF-protected lands in Marion County. However, on June 15 the burn ban will extend to all lands in Marion County as well.

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 limits.

Benton County Fire Defense Board Chief Rick Smith asked residents to think about other ways to dispose of their backyard debris.

"We encourage you to consider alternatives to burning such as the Community Wildfire Protection Plan chipping program, debris recycling, and Pacific Region Compost."

The fire defense board chiefs encouraged residents to increase their awareness of wildfires and take steps to help protect their property. The work that a homeowner does now to establish a defensible space around his/her property can make the difference between a home or structure burning or surviving intact.

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.

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