Clackamas Fire Agencies Enact High-Danger Burn Bans Amid Heat Wave

Clackamas fire agencies have enacted a strict burn ban in the midst of a scorching heat wave that is roasting the Canby area and much of the state this week.

The burn ban includes all fire agencies in Clackamas County — Canby Fire, Aurora Fire, Clackamas Fire, Colton Fire, Estacada Fire, Hoodland Fire, Molalla Fire and Sandy Fire — and will take effect Thursday, July 28.

The new fire restrictions were recommended by the Clackamas County Fire Defense Board and are authorized under Oregon law and statewide fire codes.

The burn ban prohibits all backyard or open burning (branches, yard debris, etc.); all agricultural burning and any other land clearing, including slash, stump, waste, debris or other controlled burning.

The burn ban does not prohibit small outdoor cooking, warming or recreational fires, including portable or permanent fire pits, fire tables, and campfires, with a maximum fuel area of three feet in diameter and two feet in height. These fires must be in a safe location away from combustibles or vegetation and be fully extinguished after use.

Also permitted are barbeque grills, smokers and similar cooking appliances with clean, dry firewood, briquettes, wood chips, pellets, propane, natural gas, or similar fuels.

However, officials say there may be more restrictive fire safety rules within Oregon Department of Forestry-protected land, which exists throughout much of rural Clackamas County. ODF 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 online.

Outdoor fires 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.

In a press release Tuesday, Clackamas County fire chiefs encouraged the public to use extreme caution with activities that could start a fire.

“It is everyone’s responsibility to prevent and be prepared for wildfires,” the statement said.

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