Friday, May 3, 2013

Use Care When Burning Debris

Nearly two weeks of above-average temperatures and zero rain has left much of the Rogue Valley bone dry. Firefighters from the Oregon Dept. of Forestry's Southwest Oregon District and most of the rural fire protection districts have extinguished escaped burn pile fires almost every day in that period of time.

Before burning, call the air quality opening burning advisory line for your county to find out whether opening burning is permitted on that day.
  • Jackson County: (541) 776-7007
  • Josephine County: (541) 476-9663
Also, if your structural fire protection district requires a burning permit, get one before striking the match.

Check the weather. If the temperature is 80 or above, strongly consider burning on a cooler day. If strong or gusty winds are in the forecast, don't burn.

Have water readily available at your burn pile site. Test hoses to make sure they work, and add enough hose to stretch at least 50 feet beyond your pile site. And keep a shovel close by.

Never leave a flaming burn pile unattended. Ever. Not even for a minute.

It's best to burn early in the day, and always complete the burning project before nightfall. Use water and a shovel to soak down remaining embers, and stir them with wet dirt to completely extinguish every last spark. Check the burned area the next day to make sure no smoking debris is left.

If your burn pile fire escapes your control, call 9-1-1 immediately.

We need your help to Keep Oregon Green.

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