Wednesday, October 7, 2009
POLK COUNTY -- The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) and the Polk County Fire Defense Board remind residents that the countywide ban on open burning remains in effect until the end of wildfire season.
Open burning of yard debris or other materials is prohibited.
The burn ban, which started July 2, aims to reduce the incidence of wildfires resulting from debris burns that rekindle or escape control. So far in 2009, only two wildfires have resulted from such instances in the county.
ODF Protection Supervisor Allison Blair cautioned against assuming that the recent precipitation has eliminated fire danger.
"A little bit of rain doesn't mean a free-for-all when it comes to open burning," she said.
Rainfall received so far has not dampened fuels sufficiently to warrant closing fire season. Sustained rainfall over an extended period is required to reduce the flammability of large forest fuels such as tree limbs, the forester said.
Fire officials have authority under Oregon statute to issue citations for open burns conducted during the annual burning ban.
For more information on the open burning restrictions as well as advice on safe debris disposal, contact the nearest Department of Forestry office or your local fire department.