Malheur County burn ban to lift Friday, Oct. 1

Vale’s new fire danger sign indicated a ‘HIGH’ rating on June 9, 2021 as temperatures rose and fields dried out. But since then, the danger has been reduced. (The Enterprise/Angelina Katsanis)

ONTARIO – Get out your fire rings and your burn barrels – the summer’s burn ban will be lifted this Friday, Oct. 1. 

The ban is coming to an end because of cooler weather and recent rains, said Terry Leighton, Malheur County Fire Defense Board chief. Leighton is also the fire chief in Ontario.  

“I have spoken with the other fire chiefs in the county and the BLM officials and Sheriff Wolfe and we all agree that the conditions are now at a level that we can remove the ban,” said Leighton. “Burn permits will still be necessary in those areas where they are required.”

Agricultural burning has been allowed throughout the ban, with certain requirements, for those with permits, Leighton said. 

“Burning brush is allowed with the permit but only when there is no burn ban in effect,” Leighton said.

Burning trash, however, is never allowed, Leighton said. Only organic materials are permitted to be burned. 

Campfires and bonfires are allowed at a small scale, though larger fires may require a permit and inspection.

“(People can) get a permit by contacting the fire department in their area, or else the county if they are not in a fire district or fire department’s coverage area,” said Leighton. 

News tip? Contact reporter Liliana Frankel at [email protected] or 267-981-5577.

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