Recent cool temperatures and precipitation have brought an end to the 2019 fire season for Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) Central Oregon District. At 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 26, fire season was officially terminated, according to an ODF press release.

Wildland fuels across the district do not pose a significant risk of rapid fire growth, ODF stated; however, weather and fuel conditions during the fall can change quickly, and the public is reminded to follow all local burning restrictions to reduce the risk of escaped debris burns.
 
“We still want everyone to be careful with their burning, and to follow recommendations and restrictions,” said Kristin Dodd, unit forester in The Dalles. “Terminating fire season doesn’t mean fire won’t burn, especially on dry windy days.”
 
Landowners who plan to burn industrial logging slash, fuel reduction or defensible space materials, or other debris from forest activities should contact their local ODF Office to obtain a burn permit.
 
Burning of yard debris or burn barrels should follow fire department restrictions and do not require a permit from ODF.
 
In Hood River and Wasco counties, yard debris (small piles) and burn barrels are allowed from dawn until 11 a.m. Burn permits are required by ODF or the local fire district. Call The Dalles Unit office at 541-296-4626 for details on obtaining a permit.
 
Fires should never be left unattended, said the press release. ODF recommends keeping a shovel and water source on site, when burning, even small piles. Landowners may be liable for fires which escape.   
 
Firefighters within the Central Oregon District responded to 126 fires across the 2.3 million protected acres, burning just over 230 acres year-to-date, said the press release. 
 
The 10-year average for acres burned within the district is over 8,000 acres annually. The small number of acres burned in 2019 can be attributed to the quick, coordinated response of firefighting resources, wet thunderstorms, and a more moderate fire season across the region allowing more resources to be available for initial attack and extended attack for suppression efforts, said the press release. Human ignitions accounted for 49 fires, with 77 fires attributed to lightning. 
 
For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, including contact information and unit offices, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.

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