News, Weather, wildfire

Oregon Department of Forestry urges landowners to reconsider outdoor burning

The local office of the Oregon Department of Forestry urged landowners to reconsider lighting burn piles as hot weather and east winds hit the region.

“The Forest Grove District along with local fire departments responded to two fires around noon today,” ODF said in a direct message to people signed up for forestry alerts. “Firefighters are still engaged in active fire suppression in rural Yamhill county.”

At least one of those fires was located between Timber and Glenwood.

In Washington County, the Banks Fire District and Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue banned outdoor burning.

Forest Grove Fire & Rescue declined to ban burning in their jurisdiction, as did the Gaston Rural Fire Protection District.

“While we aren’t enacting a ban, we are appealing to the citizens of our district to help us out by avoiding Backyard Burning, Agricultural Burning and Slash Burning,” Gaston said in a statement.

Sunday afternoon, Gaston Rural became more strident in their fire messaging.

“Currently, your Gaston Firefighters are on two different multi-alarm brush fires,” the agency said late Sunday afternoon. “We are asking that no one do any additional burning for at least the next 48 hours as the heat and wind is forecast to continue. If you currently do have a backyard fire of any size, we are asking that you extinguish it immediately.”

Forest Grove Fire & Rescue also warned their residents to be cautious with fire.

“We don’t expect drastic fire behavior conditions during this heatwave, but we do ask that everyone refrain from debris burning for the next couple days if possible,” Forest Grove Fire & Rescue said.

In light of the forecast of heat and wind, “even a small burn pile could become something larger,” ODF said.

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Chas Hundley is the editor of the Banks Post and sister news publications the Gales Creek Journal and the Salmonberry Magazine. He grew up in Gales Creek and has a cat.

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