Information regarding current wildfire activity in the Blue Mountain area of Northeast Oregon and Southeast Washington. Hosted by Blue Mountain Interagency Dispatch Center, Oregon Department of Forestry's Northeast Oregon District, Umatilla National Forest, and Wallowa-Whitman National Forest.
Thursday, April 7, 2016
Spring Activities Can Ignite Wildfires
Spring has finally sprung in Northeast
Oregon!With the warm weather and sunny
skies comes the desire to move into the outdoors.Spring is a great time to get out and enjoy
the recreation opportunities that the area has to offer.However, fire danger is still present despite
the more normal winter conditions we experienced this year.
“There’s a period in the spring when fire
danger is still high.The vegetation is
still dormant and hasn’t greened up yet.” said Joseph Goebel, Wildland Fire
Supervisor in Wallowa.
These conditions were evident on Saturday
when an abandoned warming fire escaped from its ring and burned approximately 1
½ acres along the Grande Ronde River.Fire crews from Wallowa Rural Fire Department as well as Oregon Department
of Forestry responded to the blaze.
“Cool nights and mornings have folks looking
for ways to get warm.They just need to
make sure that their fire is dead out before they move on.”Goebel said.
Another pre-season fire danger is debris
burning.Spring is the time when many of
us clean up around the yard and look for ways to get rid of built up yard
debris.Debris burning is often the way
people turn to get rid of these piles.Regardless of the time of year, burning requires extreme attention.Debris burning is the number one human-cause
of wildfire.Many of these fires take
place before and after the normal fire season.ODF officials encourage landowners to heed caution and refer to the
following checklist before burning:
·First seek alternatives to burning. Check with your local
landscapers or landfills for composting and debris removal programs.
·If you decide to burn the material, call your local fire
department to see if a burning permit is required.Burning regulations are not the same in all
·Once approved, prepare by having a shovel and charged garden
hose at the burn site.
·Find a clear site away from buildings and trees with
·Clear a fire trail down to mineral soil around the pile or
incinerator of at least 10 feet in diameter.
·Divide large piles into smaller piles.Smaller piles burn quickly and efficiently
and are easier to control.
·Avoid burning during windy conditions. Embers can travel and
ignite spot fires nearby.
·Stay with the fire, wetting down the edges to prevent escape,
until it is completely out.
·Remember, unattended piles can quickly spread out of
control.If your debris burn escapes
control, call 911 immediately.
This is also the best time of year to make your
property wildfire-safe.Be sure and
remove all dead leaves and needles from your roof and gutters.Create a defensible space of 30 to 100 feet
around your home by clearing brush and moving wood piles.Keep your lawn well irrigated and make sure
your driveway is clearly marked and accessible for emergency vehicles and
equipment. For more information, contact your nearest ODF office.