Union County Eases Restrictions on County Wide Burn Ban

Union County Board of Commissioners voted in a regular county commission session today to ease the County Wide Burn Ban/Regulated Use restrictions effective immediately at the recommendation of the Union County Fire Defense Board. Fire Defense Board Chief Larry Wooldridge stated that due to the recent precipitation and cooler temperatures the county’s exposure to extreme fire behavior has decreased enough to reduce the burn restrictions. Chief Wooldridge indicated that the Fire Defense Board will continue to monitor the conditions.

As specified in 2016-01 Burn Ordinance, 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 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.

In addition to Union County easing fire restrictions, Oregon Department of Forestry has lowered their Regulated Use Closure to Phase 1, and forest officials on the Umatilla National Forest has reduced restrictions to Phase A. The restrictions pertain to the use of campfires, smoking, chainsaws, internal combustion engines, and generators. The public’s awareness of the increasing fire danger and cooperation is essential to minimizing wildfire in Union County. 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. Additional information regarding forest restrictions can be found at www.bmidc.org.

The county ordinance may be read in its entirety on the county website at www.union-county.org.