Union County Begins Regulated Fire Season
Annual regulated use fire season outside of city limits began July 1, 2020. County Officials caution that even though the weather has been unseasonably cool, conditions can change rapidly causing fine fuels such as leaves needles, twigs, branches, bark, and grasses to dry out quickly. This can create significant fire risk, especially if citizens are not cautious with high risk activities such fireworks, burn barrels, recreational fires, barbeques, chainsaws, and cigarettes.
Union County Ordinance 2018-01 states that during regulated fire season no open burning shall be allowed on all public and private lands within rural fire protection districts and outside of city limits and on all other public and private lands in Union County. The use of incinerators and burn barrels for the burning of trash within the described lands shall be allowed between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m., however, burn barrel use must comply with the following conditions:
- Barrels must be located in an area free of burnable materials with a 10 foot radius around the base of the burn barrel.
- Barrels shall not be within 25 feet of any structure.
- Barrels shall be in good condition and equipped with a heavy metal screen on top.
- Burning on windy days where burning material will be transported beyond the cleared are is prohibited.
- Burn barrel fires shall be attended at all times by responsible person(s).
- Said responsible persons shall have on site and readily available for use a shovel and water sufficient to suppress accidental ignitions.
- In areas under the protection of the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) including areas of “dual protection” ODF burn permit requirements apply.
The use of improved fire pits and fire appliances (defined as gas fire places, metal or stone chimeneas, charcoal barbeques and commercial fire pits or similar products) are allowed during fire season by the land owner or their agent under the following conditions:
- Improved fire pits: Recreational fires are allowed only in rock-lined fire pits surrounded by dirt, rock or commercial rings. Combustible material shall be removed a minimum of three feet beyond the fire ring.
- Clean dry fuel in the fire pit or fire appliance should be used in order to ensure complete combustion.
- Fires shall be attended at all times by responsible person(s).
- A 10 foot fire break must be in place.
- Fire shall be fully extinguished prior to leaving.
- Follow ODF permit requirements in areas where they have dual protection responsibility.
The regulated fire season will continue through September 30, 2020 unless the season is extended based on conditions at that time. A complete burn ban may also be applied by the Union County Board of Commissioners banning all fires outside incorporated cities if extreme fire danger is present at the recommendation of the Union County Fire Defense Board. Regulated fire season does not apply to regulated agricultural field burning or the use of gas barbeques at residences.
The ordinance may be read in its entirety on the county website at www.union-county.org.