SALEM, Ore. -- A ban on all open and backyard burning took effect June 15 in Linn, Benton and Marion counties. The Oregon Department of Forestry and the fire defense boards of the three counties issued the ban. It aims to reduce the number of open debris burns escaping control and causing wildfires. The restrictions will extend through Oct. 15 or later, depending on fire danger.
Linn County Fire Defense Board Chief John Bradner says a wet spring has caused a heavy buildup of fuels, especially grass. He says as temperatures rise and plants dry out over the summer, fire danger will increase.
The open burning restrictions coincide with the current air-quality rules set forth by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. Those rules already forbid open burning within three miles of cities over 1,000 in population and six miles from cities over 50,000 in population after June 15. These burn restrictions expand to include areas outside the three- and six-mile limit.