The Benton County Fire Defense Board pushed back the regular start of backyard burning season from Oct. 1 until Oct. 15, Philomath Fire & Rescue reported.
Capt. Rich Saalsaa indicated that the delay to backyard burning, also referred to as open burning, was prompted by current weather patterns that have included warmer and drier conditions and the expectation that many areas will return to high fire danger, including in the local district.
“We are waiting for the start of the rainy season in Oregon, where we can see several days of soaking rain that will inhibit fire growth and spread,” Saalsaa said. “Rain, coupled with lower temperatures and higher relative humidity, will allow for easing the dry conditions and lessen the potential for wildland fire.”
Saalsaa said current permit holder start dates have been automatically changed to Oct. 15. New permits will also begin on that same date.
Residents in the fire district can apply each year to stage backyard burns, in conjunction with the Department of Environmental Quality, which sets permissible days to burn based on air quality. Burn season will end on Dec. 15 and reopen on March 1.
Warming (recreational and cooking) fires are still allowed with a permit.
Information about the different types of permissible burning and permits, including what can and cannot be burned, can be found on Philomath Fire & Rescue’s website or by calling 541-360-0030 weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.