Union County Eases Restrictions on County Wide Burn Ban

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Union County Board of Commissioners voted in a regular county commission session today to release the County Wide Burn Ban/Regulated Use restrictions effective immediately at the recommendation of the Union County Fire Defense Board.

County Emergency Manager Nick Vora explained that the weather experienced in June, July, and early August of this year led to extreme fire danger in northeast Oregon and Union County due to high temperatures and minimal precipitation. As a result, several large fires have burned in the region. While the extreme drought in the area has persisted, the high temperatures experienced earlier have moderated. There are currently fewer large fires burning in the region resulting in local fire resources being more readily available for initial attack. This explanation led to the approval of the Board of Commissioners to rescind the county-wide burn ban implemented in June.

As specified in County Ordinance 2018-01, the county will remain in regulated fire season through September 30 with a ban on open burning. The open burning ban states that during regulated fire season, no open burning will be allowed with the exception of regulated agricultural field burning.  Incinerators and burn barrels are allowed between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m., but must comply with requirements in the ordinance.  Improved fire pits and fire appliances are allowed.

Recreational guidelines for campfires must be followed including rock-lined fire pits surrounded by dirt, rock or commercial rings.  All combustible materials are to be a minimum of three feet beyond the fire ring, and fires shall be attended at all times. The county ordinance may be read in its entirety on the county website at www.union-county.org.

Recreationists, firewood cutters, hunters, and other forest users can all help by closely adhering to restrictions, operating safely and cautiously, and keeping up-to-date on the latest orders and regulations. Details regarding all area forest Public Use Restrictions can be found by visiting the Blue Mountain Interagency Dispatch webpage at www.bmidc.org.