Despite recent wet weather and cooler temperatures, the Oregon Department of Forestry is not calling for an end to fire season just yet with restrictions remaining in place. Thus, open burning is still not allowed in the Philomath Fire and Rescue District.
“Though the rain we saw was welcome relief, we have a long hot and dry summer to recover from and upcoming weather models show a return to warmer and drier conditions the first week of October with a chance for east winds,” ODF officials said through a release. “Those of you who have piles ready to burn, we ask that you cover them, wait for conditions to improve and burn season to officially open.”
ODF’s West Oregon District in collaboration with the Benton County Fire Defense Board issued the decision Thursday. Since the district is currently in “low” fire danger, recreational fires such as campfires, charcoal and cooking fires are allowed but must be within a fire pit or ring, have the landowner’s permission and not contain material or debris consistent with a backyard debris.
All agricultural and yard debris burning is currently prohibited.
Philomath Fire and Rescue Deputy Fire Chief Rich Saalsaa said current permit holders are not currently allowed to burn and added that the district “will be updating them when it is permitted once ODF ends the fire season.” Backyard burning typically runs from Oct. 1-Dec. 15.
Saalsaa added that no new permits will be issued until fire season ends — the exception being those recreational fires.
ODF officials said the agency and the Fire Defense Board will evaluate conditions with the intent of ending fire season as soon as conditions allow.