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Backyard burn season open in county

Fire officials advise on what, when to burn

SCREENSHOT COURTESY OF THE COLUMBIA RIVER FIRE AND RESCUE WEBSITE - Burn permits can be applied for online through the Columbia River Fire and Rescue fire department website or by visiting the adminstrative office. A similar form for the Scappoose Fire District burn permit is also on the district's website.The backyard burn season started in Columbia County this week, but fire officials are still advising residents to be mindful about fires.

While the county openly allows burning during this season, residents in St. Helens and Columbia City should be aware of restrictions within city limits. The city of St. Helens allows burning from Saturday, Oct. 15, to Sunday, Oct. 30.

Columbia City allows burning from Saturday, Nov. 5, to Sunday, Nov. 20.

Burning in Scappoose is allowed on any days that are classified as burn days.

Due to fluctuations and unpredictability in the weather, residents across the county should always call the local fire district to find out if that day is classified as a burn day. Regulations for burn days are determined in part by the Department of Environmental Equality based on air quality conditions.

The Columbia River Fire and Rescue burn line is 503-397-4800.

The Scappoose Fire District burn line is 503-543-


Before you start a burn, you should also fill out a burn permit form online or at the CRFR or SFD administrative offices. Burn permits are valid for one year after they have been issued. The permits inform residents of what should be nearby when a fire is being burned, as well as guidelines about what can and cannot be put into the pile.

Items that cannot be burned include: wet garbage, grass clippings, asphalt, petroleum products, rubber, vegetable matter, construction material or items that produce dense smoke.

Make sure items being put into the burn pile are dry, well contained and free of materials that might cause dense or foul-smelling smoke.

“The most problems we see is property owners are not burning the pile but creating noxious smoke due to their piles being wet or the branches from trees have not dried out after being cut off,” CRFR and SFD Fire Chief Mike Greisen said in an email to the Spotlight.

Greisen also advises residents to be mindful of their neighbors when burning.

The CRFR administrative office is located at 270 Columbia Blvd., St. Helens. The SFD administrative office is located at 52751 Columbia River Hwy, Scappoose.