Beginning Monday, July 25, at 7 a.m., all fire agencies within Washington County will enact a High-Fire Danger Burn Ban, based on a recommendation made by the Washington County Fire Defense Board. Washington County fire agencies include: Banks Fire District #13, Cornelius Fire Department, Forest Grove Fire Department, Gaston Rural Fire District, Hillsboro Fire & Rescue, and Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue.
This means that all outdoor burning will be banned throughout TVF&R's jurisdiction, including areas served in Washington, Multnomah, Clackamas, and Yamhill counties. Burning restrictions are authorized under Oregon Revised Statute 478.960 and Oregon Fire Code 307.
The burn ban prohibits all the following:
- Backyard or open burning (branches, yard debris, etc.).
- Agricultural burning (agricultural wastes, crops, field burning, etc.).
- Any other land clearing, slash, stump, waste, debris, or controlled burning.
The burn ban does not prohibit:
- Small outdoor cooking, warming, or recreational fires. These include portable or permanent fire pits, fire tables, and campfires, with a maximum fuel area of three feet in diameter and two feet in height in a safe location away from combustibles or vegetation and are fully extinguished after use.
- Barbeque grills, smokers, and similar cooking appliances with clean, dry firewood, briquettes, wood chips, pellets, propane, natural gas, or similar fuels.
There may be more restrictive fire safety rules on and within a 1/8 mile of Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF)-protected land, which exists throughout much of rural Washington County. ODF restrictions may include prohibitions on campfires, smoking, target shooting, powered equipment, motorized vehicles, and other public/private landowner and industrial fire restrictions. More details about ODF fire restrictions are available at https://gisapps.odf.oregon.gov/firerestrictions/PFR.html.
Outdoor fires in violation of this burn ban may be immediately extinguished. If a fire agency responds to a fire that has been started in willful violation of this burn ban, the person responsible may be liable for all costs incurred, as well as legal fees per ORS 478.965.
Fire chiefs in Washington County encourage the public to use extreme caution with activities that could start a fire. It is everyone’s responsibility to prevent and be prepared for wildfires.