Clean up Time, Don’t Get Burned!
For Immediate Release
Friday, April 11, 2014 (9:22 AM)
With recent and forecasted warm weather, landowners are in the mode of spring cleaning their properties by removing dead material to reduce flammable vegetation build-up. Those choosing to remove vegetation and litter through burning need to be careful and take the precautions to prevent the spread of fire.
“Although the soil may still be wet from recent (above average) rains in the month of March, dead vegetation such as last year’s grass and brush can dry out fast from the sun. When afternoon winds develop, that’s enough to carry a fire out of control. Dead grass and brush can burn even though there is moisture in areas on the ground,” stated Randall Baley, Fire Planner with the Oregon Department of Forestry. “Overall, we are way behind in precipitation averages such as snow pack and rainfall over the duration of winter. We need to get into good habits of being careful. Fires have occurred in the past couple of weeks from various types of debris burning and some have escaped the control of the landowner”.
The following are considerations when debris burning during your SPRING CLEAN UP. These practices may not prevent a fire from spreading, but they do decrease the risks to the landowner:
1. Be sure you are fully prepared before burning. Extra people and tools may be necessary to control your fire.
2. Clear around your burn area to mineral soil to eliminate the fire spreading to dead and down material or green vegetation.
3. Check the weather -- don’t burn on dry, windy days.
4. Be sure to stay with your fire until it is “out”; “from first flame to the last spark”.
5. Check your burn regularly and frequently. Check your piles for hidden hot spots by digging into the piles, after the fire appears to be “dead out” and after the wind has blown in the area.
The Oregon Department of Forestry does not require a burn permit at this time, BUT other fire protection agencies/departments do require permits. Please contact your local fire department for current requirements, as well as the 882-BURN number. Remember those within the Klamath Falls Air Quality Zone may only use burning as a clean-up tool between April 4th and April 19thth.
The Oregon Department of Forestry, and other area fire districts and agencies, would like to encourage you to develop a potentially survivable space on your property for high fire danger times of year. Information on fire protecting your property may be obtained from the Oregon Department of Forestry and other fire protection agencies. If you decide to use burning as a tool to dispose of debris in your clean up, consider all risks in your decision. Be sure that you have taken every precaution before burning, and double check the burn area after it appears to be dead out.
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