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The ban affects private, county, state and government lands within the county

   Columbia County fire districts will enact an open debris burn ban beginning July 1.

This affects private, county, state and local government lands within Columbia County. It is anticipated that summer weather patterns will dry wildland fuels and increase the risk for fire spread. These weather patterns also bring the risk of lightning and increased fire activity in the county.

The purpose for the burn ban is to reduce human fire starts by restricting some activities related to forest operations and open burning.

Recreational fires will be allowed within residential yards as long as recreational fire regulations are followed. Recreational fires must be in designated fire pits and can be no larger than 3 feet in diameter with flames not to exceed 2 feet in height; they should also be a minimum of 25 feet from any combustible material. Only clean, natural wood that fits within a fire pit is allowed to be burned. Recreational fires must be attended at all times by responsible, sober, non-impaired adults with suitable on-site fire extinguishing equipment such as a working garden hose.

Burning garbage or yard debris is not considered recreational burning. Backyard barbecues, including charcoal and propane power units, are allowed.

Open burning of yard debris will be prohibited from July 1 until fall rains return. Open burning within the city limits of the fire districts are regulated by those local government entities.

The Columbia County Fire Defense Board encourages the public to avoid recreational fires on dry, windy days when fires are more likely to escape. Fine fuels such as green grass can easily ignite when humidity is low and winds are strong.

When drier weather conditions result in a more significant fire hazard, recreational burning may be more tightly regulated or banned completely. Escaped fires of any kind that result in property damage may lead to fines and individual financial responsibility.

Commercial burning, such as slash burns regulated by the Oregon Department of Forestry, will be halted.

For more information regarding campfires, recreational burning, debris burning and additional burning regulations, visit: Columbia River Fire & Rescue, and click on "Burn Permits;" Scappoose Fire District, and click on the "Outdoor Burning" link; Clatskanie Fire District,; Oregon Department of Forestry,; Mist Birkenfeld Fire District,

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