The Central Oregon Fire Chiefs Association (COFCA) announces the date of closing for residential and private lands open debris burning across the tri-county region in Deschutes, Crook and Jefferson Counties. Burning debris piles on private lands in much of central Oregon will not be allowed starting on June 1 this year as the area heads into the summer wildland fire season.
“In order to best serve our residents throughout central Oregon with fire and EMS protection, Central Oregon Fire Chief’s each year, jointly select a common closing date to avoid escaped residential debris burns on private lands”, said Matt Smith, Fire Chief, Crook County Fire District, and Chair of Central Oregon Fire Chiefs Association.
“Many areas in Central Oregon are drying out quickly and local, state and federal wildfire suppression resources can be quickly needed as the conditions continue to dry out,” Chief Smith said. “Even though specific areas in Central Oregon still may receive a bit of rain or even a spring snow shower before or after the closure, the region as a whole is quickly approaching fire season conditions that create unsafe conditions for residential outdoor debris burning,” adds Chief Smith.
The Central Oregon Fire Chief’s Association strongly urges homeowners to prepare their property for the upcoming fire season now before there is smoke on the horizon. Homeowners and residents who have yet to Firewise their properties for the upcoming fire season will have three options for forest debris removal until fall and burn season opens again: chip the debris; haul to a local transfer site; or pile and cover until fall.