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Redmond Fire & Rescue adopts state fire code, bans open burning within city limits

(Update: Adding video, comments from fire marshal)

Agency now issues burn permits on phone application

REDMOND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Redmond Fire and Rescue has adopted and implemented the state's fire code this month, and is banning outdoor burning within the city.

Fire Marshal Tom Mooney met with Deschutes County commissioners on Wednesday as they adopted the new code for areas within the fire district but outside of the city.

"We didn't have good rules and regulations in place," Mooney said. "This solidifies the process, so everybody is working from the same page."

The fire district's adopted code establishes minimum life safety requirements and applies to commercial buildings.

“So when we go out and conduct an inspection on a commercial building, say your local Walmart, we’re in there making sure it’s safe for you to shop there, and it’s also safe for the employees, in the event that something does happen within the building, you can safely evacuate," Mooney said.

The fire code is also intended to protect firefighters and emergency responders during emergency operations.

The Redmond Fire and Rescue adopted two ordinances.

One adopts the state's fire code, while the other regulates open burning within the fire district’s boundaries.

Open burning within the city is banned, except for recreational fires at one- and two-family dwellings, under the second ordinance, which you can review below.

Outside the city limits is a different case.

"You’ll be able to still burn during burning season," Mooney said. "However, we’re going to have a new process in place where you’ll obtain an electronic burn permit."

The burn permit phone application, created by the Western Fire Chiefs Association, is free.

It requires you to create an account for log-in access. You can then apply for a burn permit, which can be approved or denied, based on weather conditions.

The fire marshal said Redmond Fire will be conducting "a very aggressive education and media campaign" in coming months about the new rules and limits, especially as traditional burn season approaches.

“We would like to educate folks," Mooney said. "We understand during the first year, there’s going to be a lot of transition time. The nice thing is if somebody doesn’t own a smartphone, we’re still going to allow them to call in, and we’ll create the permit for them.”

Those who repeatedly violate the code can be issued a Class A misdemeanor citation and have to pay  fees.

“If you do not obtain a permit, or if you willfully just burn and-or damage property," Mooney said.

The fee schedule will be established in July.

If a fire spreads beyond a contained area, a person can be charged for the cost to suppress the fire and could be held civil and criminally liable for that fire.

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Bola Gbadebo

Bola Gbadebo is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Bola here.

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