In consultation with the Oregon Department of Forestry and other members of the Washington County Fire Defense Board, TVF&R will keep in place a High-Fire Danger Burn Ban throughout the district until further notice. All outdoor debris burning remains prohibited in all areas served by TVF&R in Washington, Clackamas, Yamhill, and Multnomah counties. The burn ban was originally instituted on July 25 to reduce the potential for wildfires.
When considering whether to enact or end a burn ban, fire officials examine several factors including fuel moisture levels, weather forecasts, and fire behavior. Fire officials have determined that recent rainfall will have little impact on reducing the potential for burn piles to escape and grow out of control.
As a reminder, the burn ban prohibits all the following:
1. Backyard or open burning (branches, yard debris, etc.).
2. Agricultural burning (agricultural wastes, crops, field burning, etc.).
3. Any other land clearing, slash, stump, waste, debris or controlled burning.
The burn ban does not prohibit:
1. 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.
2. 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. Burning restrictions are authorized under Oregon Revised Statute 478.960 and Oregon Fire Code 307.
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. Residents are encouraged to continue exercising caution and taking steps to prevent and prepare for the threat of wildfires. That includes:
Creating survivable space:
• Mowing and watering lawns.
• Removing brush, dry grass, and leaves from underneath decks and crawlspaces.
• De-limbing tree branches 10 feet off the ground and well away from your roof.
• Planting low-growing, fire-resistant plants near your home.
• Eliminating fuel sources near and around your home – firewood, fuel tanks, etc.
• The road or driveway to your home should be clear of all debris, dense vegetation, and low-hanging branches. Turn-out areas are needed if the road or driveway to your home is not large enough for two-way traffic or your home is located at the end of a long driveway or dead-end road.
• The driveway to your home should be designed without sharp curves or steep grades.
• If crossing a bridge is necessary to access your home, it should support 50,000 pounds.