Fire season still in effect for ODF-protected lands, ag burn ban lifted, yard burning begins Oct. 1

Washington County – The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) terminated regulated use closure in the Northwest Oregon Forest Protection Association (NWOFPA), which includes the Tillamook, Astoria, and Forest Grove Districts on Thursday, September 20.

“When Regulated Use is officially terminated the public no longer has fire restrictions on smoking, campfires, chainsaws and motorized vehicle use.  However, everyone still needs to think about fire prevention all year round.  For example, do not discard burning materials, such as cigarettes, and always ensure campfires are cold before leaving,” read a statement by the Northwest Oregon Forest Protection District, ODF’s local district in Washington County and beyond.

While fire season is still considered active in lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry  in the NWOFPA, many regulations regarding agriculture and slash burning have eased. To see what rules and regulations still apply, visit https://www.oregon.gov/ODF/Fire/Pages/Restrictions.aspx.

In general, depending on where you live, you’ll need a permit to burn, even for agricultural purposes. If you live in the Banks area, Banks Fire District #13 can be reached at 503-324-6262; for those in the Forest Grove Rural Fire Protection District, call Forest Grove Fire & Rescue at 503-992-3240. 

“WHEREAS, the menace to life and property heretofore existing due to weather conditions and an excessive amount of flammable debris on certain areas in the State of Oregon have been sufficiently reduced to remove said menace to life and property in certain areas…” – the official, legal, statement lifting regulated use. 

While burning is now open to agriculture users in unincorporated Washington County, residential yard debris burning will open on October 1, but may see temporary daily closures depending on air quality conditions, with the final decision made by Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality.

This article has been updated with contact info for the Banks and Forest Grove fire agencies, and with a link to DEQ’s burn info website.