MEDFORD, Ore-- According to the Oregon Department of Forestry Southwest, firefighters have responded to 9 different out-of-control debris burns between Jackson and Josephine Counties this week.
ODFSW says that weather conditions in the area have been creating an increased risk for fires to spread easily, including temperatures in the 60’s and 70’s, windy conditions and a couple weeks without rain.
Some of the escaped burns this week have included an escaped debris burn near the Applegate area as well as escaped burn piles in Rogue River.
Although nine of these escaped burns were found and put out quickly, the Oregon Department of Forestry wants people to consider these tips before starting a burn pile, especially with the warmer and dryer conditions that southern Oregon is experiencing:
-Only burn on a burn day. Call your county’s burn line to ensure you’re not breaking the law and starting an illegal burn pile.
-Check the weather. If it’s sunny and windy, consider putting off your debris burn until the next cloudy or rainy day- even if it’s a schedule burn day.
-Make sure you have any needed permits from your local fire department or district, and know the regulations associated with it.
-Keep a water source nearby, such as a charged hose.
-Never leave your burn pile unattended.
-When you’re finished, extinguish your burn pile with water and dirt until you can’t feel any heat in the area. Check for heat with the back of your hand.
-Monitor your prior debris burns. Extinguished piles can reignite months later in warm, windy conditions like the ones were seeing now.
ODF says that an escaped burn pile can land you a citation and that you may be potentially responsible for paying for the entire cost of putting the fire out.