Columbia County officials have enacted a burn ban effective Saturday, July 1. From that date forward, backyard burns will no longer be permitted anywhere in Columbia County.
The Columbia County Fire Defense Board issued a press release Tuesday, June 27, citing concerns about prolonged dry conditions that present a fire hazard to the region, and determined that the ban should be in effect until fall when significant rains return.
The board is composed of fire chiefs from Columbia River Fire and Rescue, Scappoose Fire District, Clatskanie Fire District, Vernonia Fire District, Mist-Birkenfeld Fire District and the Oregon Department of Forestry.
Recreational fires are still permitted, but they may not exceed two feet in height, or three feet in diameter. Only clean wood should be burned. Burning of yard debris and garbage is not permitted. Fires should be attended at all times and be at least 25 feet away from combustible materials.
The Office of the State Fire Marshal also advises residents to "Keep it Legal and Keep it Safe," when it comes to the use of fireworks.
Firework sales are legal through July 6 and can be purchased rom permitted retailers, however some restrictions apply.
As a reminder, fireworks that fly into the air, explode or travel more than 12 feet horizontally are illegal to possess or use without a permit. Violations for offenders can be up to $500 each.
With warm, dry weather in the forecast, people should use caution when setting off fireworks. In 2016, more than 190 fireworks-related fires were reported throughout the year. In the past five years, 944 fires have been reported.