The Benton County Fire Defense Board declared a total burn restriction to run from Thursday until 8 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 12. Officials with the agency said that the restriction is due to fire danger coupled with a fire weather watch, which the National Weather Service is issuing for Friday into Saturday.

The burn restriction affects all of Benton County including Adair, Albany portions in Benton County, Alsea, Blodgett, Corvallis, Kings Valley, Monroe and Philomath. All existing recreational and agricultural fire permits are suspended during the restriction period.

“Conditions through this weekend could lead to rapid fire spread which means the public should be ready to help prevent human-caused fires,” Philomath Fire & Rescue Capt. Rich Saalsaa said. “It only takes one spark to start a fire in these conditions and we are asking Benton County residents and visitors to be aware of weather conditions and restrictions.”

All outdoor fires will be restricted to self-contained, gas-fired cooking appliances only. No open wood (including charcoal) fires will be permitted.

The National Weather Service’s fire weather watch runs from Friday morning into Saturday afternoon for wind and low relative humidity in several weather zones around Oregon, including the Willamette Valley region.

The National Weather Service shows a forecast that could include wind gusts up to 25 mph and relative humidity as low as 14%.

“Conditions may be favorable for rapid fire spread which may threaten life and property,” the NWS reported in its advisory. “Use extra caution with potential ignition sources, especially in grassy areas. Outdoor burning is not recommended.”

For those with questions, call 211, the local fire department or the Oregon Department of Forestry.