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Bark Dust Cited As Cause for House Fires


A fast moving fire that destroyed two homes in Eagle Crest could easily happen again at businesses and other homes in Central Oregon. Fire officials say it started in bark dust; a popular landscaping material that is also a great fire starter. Bark dust is definitely a concern. Gary Marshall with the Bend Fire Department says it's one of those things that people become complacent about: “But if you just take a few minutes to think about it.  Bark dust is made of wood and its usually very dry and pushed up next to your wood home or business and underneath dry shrubs or bushes that could also make a good torch.” All it takes is a cigarette butt, a stray firework or a child playing with fire landing in the bark dust. “And a lot of people don’t see the pavers and the amount of litter that collects underneath these ornamental bushes. And so all it takes is a little bit of heat from a creeping fire to ignite one of these bushes. And now, instead of having a smoldering fire, now we have a fire that is 3 to 4 to 5 feet high. A little touch that’ll spread right into your siding, underneath your eves, right into your attic.” He says the fire department is encouraging businesses to have cigarette trashcans outside their doors and homeowners to use other methods of landscaping.

 

 

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