BEND, OR -- Although temperatures are cooling and rain is in the forecast, fire remains a concern. Open burning season begins Thursday in rural areas, but officials urge caution. "Burn season is open, but there are a lot of strings attached, as it were," says Bend Fire Battalion Chief Dave Howe.
Howe says the weather is still a factor. If it's too windy, burning is not allowed, and there are rules about what materials are allowed to be burned. "If they want to burn debris, they have to go to the city's website and click on the Fire and Life Safety Information link, and that will bring up the burning regulations. And the burning regulations pamphlet is what you need to have when you're burning. It's basically your permit." You also need to call 541-322-6335 to determine if burning is actually allowed for the day; and be prepared for catastrophe, "After you assemble water, hose, you clear away the area where you're going to burn so you don't catch everything else on fire." He tells KBND News, "Once they do that, and everything's set and they've got enough people to corral anything that gets out of hand, then they can go ahead and burn, if the weather's good." But, "People still have to be heads up, you can't turn your back on a fire, you've got to be with it, attend it, and be safe, don't let it escape, and don't let it burn something it's not supposed to burn."
If all that sounds too complicated, Howe says you can dispose of yard debris at the Knott Landfill for half price, through November 10, thanks to Fire Free. Take it to the recycle side and have it turned into compost. "Burn carefully and burn safely," says Howe, "or haul to the Fire Free event and they'll recycle it."