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Spring burning begins April 1: Permit required

Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue has set out the following rules for people who obtain a permit during the spring burning season, April 1 to May 14, in The Dalles.

Dan Hammel, division chief for the fire district, said permits have to be obtained from the office at 1400 W. Eighth St., prior to burning at a cost of $5. The permits will be effective until June 30. At that time burning will be suspended due to fire danger brought by the drier weather of summer. The sale of permits will not resume until the first rains of fall have moved into the area.

Hammel said on windy days, those where flags are unfurled, burning should not take place to avoid the spread of flames. He said rubber tires, plastics and other hazardous waste materials cannot be burned, but untreated lumber is alright to add to the pile of yard debris. However, he said plywood is not allowed because of the glue that is used in its manufacture.

These regulations must be followed at all times within the city limits:

• Fires must be no larger than 8 feet in diameter and 4 feet in height.

• Burn piles need to be 50 feet from a structure if they are over 3 feet in diameter and 25 feet if smaller. They must also be 5 feet from the property line in all instances.

• Someone must be monitoring the fire until it is completely extinguished and have a garden hose or shovel ready to put out any flames that spread.

Hammel said a permit is not required for people to have recreational fires, such as those in a patio fireplace.

If a structure or wildland fire is sparked by an illegal burn, he said people can end up paying $100 an hour or more for the local agency’s response and assistance provided by state and federal agencies, as well as neighboring emergency responders. He said one landowner was billed several thousand dollars for not following the rules and causing a fire that damaged five acres.

For more information on burning rules, call Hammel at 541-296-9445 or email dhammel@mcfr.org

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