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Multnomah County implements immediate ban on all burning

High temperatures, limited rainfall and ongoing dry conditions contributed to ban -

FILE PHOTO - Let's all work together to prevent fires like this one!Due to forecasted high temperatures, limited rainfall and ongoing dry conditions, the Multnomah Fire Defense Board Chief has issued an outdoor burn ban effective Wednesday, Aug. 17, across the county.

The ban includes recreational campfires, fire pits, yard debris, agricultural burning and permits issued for open burning until further notice.

Outdoor barbecuing is still allowed — though the fire department urges extreme caution. When using charcoal briquettes, it is important to dispose of ashes in a covered metal container away from combustibles, keeping them wet for a few days before disposal. They also say to keep at least 10 feet between outdoor cooking and anything combustible, such as siding, fences and shrubbery.

Restrictions have also been placed on firewood cutting and other industrial activities on the eastern side of the Mt. Hood National Forest. The restricted area covers all of Barlow and most of Hood River Ranger Districts, as both have high fire danger levels.

The restrictions mean residents can only operate power saws between 8 and 1 p.m. in the restricted area. There is also a required one-hour fire watch after shutting down power saws and other equipment within the affected area.

Smokers should ensure cigarettes are out and left in the proper receptacles. Those living in rural areas are asked to maintain their defensible space by monitoring growth surrounding homes and structures, while maintaining adequate access for firefighting equipment.

For updated information, call the burning information line at 503-618-3083 or call Gresham Fire and Emergency Services at 503-618-2355.