Wildfire Season

Weather conditions have heighten the wildfire danger in Columbia County.

The backyard burning season in Columbia County ended on July 1, the same date that the 2019 fire season began in Western Oregon.

According to Clatskanie Rural Fire Protection Chief Steve Sharek, recreational back yard “camp fires” (3’x3’x2’) are still allowed at this time. Debris burning is banned until the end of fire season, most likely inn October, depending on when the Oregon Department of Forestry closes fire season.

"Those burning during the closure may be subject to warnings, citations, or recovery costs of suppression," Sharke said.

According to the ODF, 21 fires have been reported this year in northwest Oregon, which is nearly double the amount of fires reported at the same time last year. All of the fires were caused by humans.

Public use restrictions during fire season include, no smoking within any forest operation area, no use of tracer ammunition and exploding targets, and no use of fuse and caps for blasting.

“Reducing the number of human-caused fires is critical. We want to clearly communicate the current danger level – and the appropriate restrictions to prevent fires under those conditions – to aid that effort,” ODF Columbia City Unit Forester Malcolm Hiatt said.

For tips on keeping your property wildfire safe this summer an fall, see a seres of prevention articles at the chief.com and in the Friday editions of The Chief.

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