The month of May in St. Helens means a spring burn period.
A spring burn period for residential open burning in the city limits of St. Helens will begin on the first Saturday in May and will run through May 22.
Burn periods, designed for burning yard debris, do not apply to activities such as using a charcoal barbeque or a recreational outdoor fire pit.
According to a news release from City Hall: "Due to the increasing threat of brush fires and wildfires over the last several years, it is extremely important to be aware of burn bans and exercise caution when creating an outdoor fire."
If you wish to burn anything in your yard, you must obtain a burn permit through Columbia River Fire & Rescue. Permits are available on the CRF&R website at http://www.crfr.com/burn-information or at the CRF&R administrative office.
Burn bans may still be in effect even if you have secured a burn permit. Anyone wishing to burn is asked to call the burn line first at 503-397-4800 to find out if it is an open burn day.
According to Columbia River Fire & Rescue, those burning outdoors are asked to take the following precautions:
• Place yard debris in an open area away from structures, trees and power lines.
• Create small piles (four feet by four feet) to better manage the burn.
• Cover portions of piles with polyethylene plastic (landscape material) to keep a portion dry for lighting later (preferably in late fall or winter).
• When conditions improve, check with your local fire agency for any regulations in place.
• Never burn under windy conditions.
• To maintain containment, create a perimeter around the pile at a minimum of 3 feet, scraped clear to bare mineral soil.
• Keep a shovel and charged hose nearby to manage the burn.
• Make sure the pile is dead out before leaving.
•Â Return periodically over several weeks to make sure the pile is still out. No heat, no smoke.
Burn permits last one year from the date of issue. However, there are only two authorized burn periods within St. Helens city limits. On the first Saturday in May, for 16 consecutive days and the third Saturday in October for 16 consecutive days.
St. Helens residents are not allowed to burn household garbage, plastics, petroleum products or rubber products. Burning can only be allowed during daytime hours. So-called burn barrels are not permitted for use.
You can contact the Columbia River Fire & Rescue administrative office at 503-397-2990 for more information.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.