Spike in illegal burns causes concern

DFPA has responded to 17 illegal burns since July 1.

Posted: Jul 7, 2020 4:35 AM
Updated: Jul 7, 2020 10:49 AM

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ore. -- The Douglas Forest Protective Association and local fire departments are concerned with the recent spike in illegal burns in the area.

DFPA has responded to 17 illegal burns since July 1. 

“The number of illegal burns in the last week has been very concerning,” said Kyle Reed, fire prevention specialist with DFPA. “Crews have responded to everything from debris piles, to burn barrels and even campfires. While we are fortunate that the illegal burns were addressed before they had a chance to spread, we want to remind everyone that the use of open fire is either restricted or prohibited during fire season.”

According to DFPA, debris burning is one of the leading causes of wildfires each year throughout Oregon. Locally, debris burning accounted for 133 fires that burned nearly 400 acres within the Douglas District over the last ten years.

All backyard debris burning, including both debris piles and the use of burn barrels is prohibited during fire season. DFPA also wants to remind residents that they are not issuing burn permits at this time.

Campfires, cooking fires and warming fires are also restricted under DFPA’s Public Use Restrictions and are only allowed within designated campgrounds. 

RELATED: MILEPOST 97 FIRE 100% CONTAINED, OFFICIALS SAY

Last summer’s Milepost 97 Fire has been the most costly for the association to date, said DFPA.

The Milepost 97 Fire, which resulted from an illegal campfire south of Canyonville, went on to burn 13,119 acres of private, public, and tribal lands and cost nearly $22 million to suppress.

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