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Bend FD plea: Keep debris burning safe, legal


This time of year, many farmers, ranchers and land owners use fire to prepare their land for the spring and summer growing season. This practice effectively eradicates noxious weeds, removes dead plant material and prepares the land for new crops. However, this practice, if not done properly, can also be dangerous.

Escaped fires ( campfires and debris burning ) is one of Oregon’s leading cause of human caused wildfires, and every spring firefighters respond to many escaped debris burns across Central Oregon. In 2018, Bend Fire crews responded to 27 escaped fires between January and May.

The Bend Fire Department asks anyone doing any burning to follow these simple measures to prevent escaped burns and to ensure that their fires cause the least impact to their neighbors.

Open debris burning is banned within the city limits of Bend . Currently, people in areas outside the city limits and within Deschutes County Rural Fire Protection District #2 (DCRFPD#2) can burn until burning is closed, at the beginning of the officially declared Fire Season (usually in June)..

All agricultural and commercial burning operations require a permit within the DCRFPD#2. This includes field burning, large piles (larger than 6 ft in diameter and 4 ft in height) and ditch burning. Permits are needed for both large commercial fires and all farms. Failure to comply with the burning regulations may result in a citation and fine.

To find out if a permit is needed or to answer any questions you have, call the BFD at 541-322-6309, or visit our website for more information about safe burning practices, and to download a copy of the current burning regulations.

Steps to lower your risk of an escaped fire:

A current copy of the BFD Burn Regulations must be on site – you can pick one up at any fire station or download one online at All Commercial and agricultural burning requires a fire department permit . To have a permit issued call 541-322-6309 during normal business hours for an appointment to conduct a site inspection. The fee for a burn permit is $15. Debris burning within the size restrictions in the Burn Regulations do not need a permit, but you must follow all the requirements in the regulations Prior to lighting your fire, contact the BFD burn information line at 541-322-6335 to ensure burning is open that day: it may be closed for adverse weather conditions (check with your local fire department if you are not covered by BFD or DCRFPD #2) Ensure you have plenty of clearance around the fire area: 50 feet clearance to structures including homes, sheds, barns and fences for most agricultural and commercial fires Ensure there are no combustibles for 10 feet surrounding your fire area Only burn during daylight hours , fully extinguish your fire at night All fires need to be attended at all times Do not burn on windy days , if the wind picks up during the day, stop burning and fully extinguish your fire to ensure it does not escape your control Have appropriate fire extinguishing tools on hand, such as a shovel and a hose Make sure you have enough people to help in case the fire does escape When done burning, ensure the fire area is cold to the touch , to ensure the fire is completely out

Do not burn prohibited materials : plastics, garbage, stumps, tires, wire insulation, vehicles, mobile homes, rubber, petroleum products, or any animal, food service, industrial, commercial and construction waste

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