By Nicole Montesano • Staff Writer • 

Open burn season ends in county

Open burn season has ended in the county, as temperatures are warming and fire danger is increasing.

Burning of yard debris remains popular among Oregonians, although fire officials ask residents to consider other options whenever possible. Agricultural and industrial burning, such as logging slash piles, also remains popular.

In the Willamette Valley, the DEQ regulates open burning, but cities, counties and fire districts may create additional restrictions. Backyard burning is allocated for two seasons: Spring, from March 1 to June 15, and fall, from Oct. 1 to Dec. 15. However, it may be closed on any given day during the season, due to weather or air quality issues, so people are required to check on the day they plan to burn.

Fire pits and barbecues are allowed year-round, except during fire weather watches and red flag warnings.

In most of Yamhill County, fire districts share a common burn line number, at 503-472-3344. It is updated daily throughout burn season.

However, Dundee and Newberg have their own lines to call: 503-538-4182, in Dundee, and 503-259-1789 in Newberg.

Fire districts may bill for having to extinguish fires that are illegal, or that get out of control because of negligence.

During burn season, the DEQ analyzes air quality and weather forecasts to decide whether burning will be allowed that day. It notifies the office of the State Fire Marshall, which forwards the information to all fire districts in the Willamette Valley.

Burning of household wastes is not allowed.

Certain items are always illegal to burn. They include asbestos, asphalt and industrial waste, automotive frames and parts, dead animals, plastic, rubber products, tires, waste oil, petroleum treated or related items, wet garbage and food waste, and any material creating dense smoke or noxious odors.

Agricultural burning may be allowed year-round, depending on weather conditions, but farmers must call their local burn line to see if it is being allowed on a particular day. It is defined as a necessary part of a farming operation, and includes crop wastes. It does not include fencing, deceased livestock, chemicals or other such items.

Controlled burns by logging operations are regulated by the state Forestry Department.

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