Clackamas County Fire Agencies Delay Open Burning Season

Based on weather forecasts and current conditions, fire agencies in Clackamas County have made the decision to delay the opening of the burn season, which traditionally is October 1.

Open burning is generally closed for the season from December 16 to February 28 and June 16 to September 30. But based on a careful evaluation and a poll of the county’s fire chiefs, the Clackamas County Fire Defense Board agencies announced their collective decision this week to push the opening back.

Outdoor burning in violation of this restriction may be immediately extinguished. If a fire agency responds to a fire that has been started in willful violation of this restriction, the person responsible may be liable for all costs incurred, as well as legal fees.

Fire chiefs in Clackamas County also encourage the public to use extreme caution with activities that could start a fire, saying it is everyone’s responsibility to prevent and be prepared for wildfires.

The Clackamas County fire agencies that joined Thursday’s decision include Canby Fire, Aurora Fire, Clackamas Fire, Molalla Fire, Colton Fire, Estacada Fire, Hoodland Fire, Lake Oswego Fire, Monitor Fire, Sandy Fire, Silverton Fire, and Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue.

The decision follows that of the Oregon Department of Forestry. A dozen large wildfires remain actively burning in the state of Oregon, spanning a combined 350,000 acres. The largest are Double Creek, which has burned 170,000 in eastern Oregon, and Cedar Creek, a 120,000-acre conflagration in Lane County.

There may be more restrictive fire safety rules within Oregon Department of Forestry-protected land, which exists throughout much of rural Clackamas County.

These restrictions may include prohibitions on campfires, smoking, target shooting, powered equipment, motorized vehicles, and other public/private landowner and industrial fire restrictions. More details about ODF fire restrictions are available here.

Burning restrictions are authorized under Oregon Revised Statutes and Oregon Fire Code 307. Fuel conditions continue to improve, and fire officials say they are optimistic about opening burning up in the near future.

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