Burning is banned in city year-round; fire danger level raised to 'moderate'
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Wildfire season is quickly approaching and Central Oregon has had a drier than average winter this year. Due to the dry winter, our area is seeing low fuel moisture levels.
Additionally, the long-term forecast looks like we could have an early fire season in the Pacific Northwest.
Due to these factors, Bend Fire & Rescue said Wednesday it has decided to close outdoor debris burning for the season, effective immediately. (Since the city of Bend has banned outdoor burning year-round for several years, this affects the rural areas in Deschutes County Fire District No. 2 that surround the city.)
Burning season typically lasts until about May 31 and is closing three weeks early, officials said.
In addition, Bend Fire & Rescue will be changing its fire danger signs outside fire stations from the "low" to "moderate" level.
Following are the fire behavior detail of the moderate fire danger level:
Moderate Fire Danger:
- Fires can start from most accidental causes, but with the exception of
lightning-sparked fires in some areas, the number of starts is generally low.
- Fires in open-cured grassland will burn briskly and spread rapidly on
windy days. Wood fires spread slowly to moderately fast.
- The average fire is of moderate intensity, although heavy concentrations of fuel, especially draped fuel, may burn hot. Short-distance spotting may occur, but is not persistent.
- Fires are not likely to become serious, and control is relatively easy.