BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – A property owner burning weeds with a propane torch in southeast Bend was cited Wednesday after sparking a fire that grew to nearly a half-acre in size. Bend Fire & Rescue officials stressed that the area’s vegetation is still very dry, with extreme fire danger continuing throughout the region.
Firefighters responded just before noon to the reported brush fire off Bear Creek Road, east of 27th Street, Deputy Fire Marshal Dan Derlacki said. Crews were able to quickly stop the fire, holding it to less than a half-acre, he said.
The property owner was cited for burning during fire season, Derlacki said.
"Although we’ve had some rain in the past week, the vegetation is still very dry and we are still in extreme fire danger throughout Central Oregon," Derlacki said in a news release.
"As a reminder, all burning bans throughout Central Oregon are still in place heading into the weekend. Even though we are expecting some rain this weekend, we are still in extreme fire danger until we do actually see the rain and see what effect it has on the dryness of the vegetation.
"In Bend, that means no debris burning or open campfires are allowed. There are a few exceptions to this ban in Bend, including gas fire pits and commercially manufactured fire pits. ODF has relaxed some industrial precautions related to chain saw use, but all burning is still prohibited. Burn bans will be reviewed after sustained rain has fallen and our fire danger reduced.
"We are asking everyone to hold off having any fires this weekend, whether it be campfires or burning of yard debris, even if rain starts to fall. Failure to do so could result in up to a $500 fine. Be sure to check out the restrictions for where you live. There are many parts of Bend’s fire district that are covered by both the Bend Fire Department and ODF. Both restrictions apply in that case. USFS, BLM and other fire districts all have similar burn restrictions still in place," Derlacki concluded.