Escaped debris burns are the leading human cause of wildfires in Oregon. Fall and spring are ideal times to reduce the excess vegetation around your home that could pose an escaped fire threat. Lawn mowers and chain saws are a few examples of equipment that can cause a wildfire when sparks ignite vegetation such as grass, weeds, or bark dust. If burning is the only option to dispose of woody material, please follow safe burning practices.
Recycle yard debris. Chip, compost, or haul debris to a recycling center.
Call before you burn yard debris. Check with your local fire agency or air protection authority to learn if there are any burning restrictions and if a permit is required.
Know the weather forecast. Never burn on dry or windy days because it is easy for burning to spread out of control.
Burn only yard debris. State regulations prohibit the open burning of any material that creates dense smoke or noxious odors.
Keep your burn pile small or use a burn barrel. Clear at least a 15-foot radius around a barrel and at least a 25-foot radius around your burn pile, and make sure there are no tree branches or power lines above. Wet down the surrounding area before, during, and after the burn.
Always have water and fire tools on site. Keep a water-charged hose, a bucket of water, a shovel, and dirt or sand nearby to extinguish the fire.
Stay with the fire. Oregon law requires that you monitor a debris burn continually from start to finish until completely out.
Extinguish the fire. Drown the burn pile with water, stir the coals, and drown again. Repeat until the fire is completely out.
Recheck the fire. Go back and recheck old burn piles, as they can retain heat for several weeks and rekindle when the weather warms and the wind begins to blow.
Gasoline/Flammable Liquid Safety Brochure
Yard Debris Removal & Equipment Use Fire Safety Brochure
National Gasoline Safety Project, Stop Gas Fires