During the last week, most Lincoln County fire districts announced they will end their respective burn bans as the Oregon Department of Forestry terminated this year’s fire season for the western part of the state effective Tuesday.
North Lincoln Fire & Rescue announced Friday it would end its ban, while the Newport Fire Department, Toledo Fire Department and Central Oregon Coast Fire & Rescue announced the same thing on Monday, to take effect on Tuesday.
While bans have been lifted in most districts across the county, permits are still required for backyard debris and slash burning. Permits can be obtained by contacting your respective fire district or by visiting their websites.
Those looking to burn should remember that legal burn materials include yard debris and untreated wood. Burning of plastics, foam, tires, wiring and construction materials is prohibited. All fires must be constantly attended, and people must have a source of water available.
Though several temporary burn bans went into effect over the summer, the latest, which ended Tuesday, began on Aug. 11 before being partially lifted on Sept. 18, which loosened restrictions banning all fires across the county to allow recreational fires.
With increased rainfall over the last two weeks, ODF chose to end the fire season for the region this week, while also lifting campfire burn bans for the eastern part of the state beyond Interstate 5.
“We are starting to see a weather pattern shift, which enables us to (end the fire season),” a Monday release from ODF read. “More rain is on its way tomorrow afternoon, and then we will see below average temperatures the remainder of the week and more rain on its way this weekend.”
This year’s fire season began on June 20. As summer dragged on, Lincoln County, like most of Oregon, experienced a drought that led to increasingly dangerous fire conditions and low water levels in local rivers until rainfall returned in late September.
Despite dangerous conditions, Lincoln County saw no major fires this summer, though there were several close calls with fires breaking out in the rural county near Siletz in early September before being extinguished by ODF with mutual assistance from local dire districts.
“We would like to thank all of you for your commitment to fire prevention this year as we had minimal acreage burned this summer in the West Oregon District. That could not be done without the efforts of you all, and it is greatly appreciated,” Monday’s ODF release read.
Lincoln County firefighters left the county five times this fire season to lend aid to other Oregon counties, first deploying to Douglas County for a week in July before redeploying to Lake County a week later to help combat the Bootleg Fire. Local firefighters were also stationed on standby several times throughout the season, but ultimately wrapped up the Oregon fire season at home after making up the bulk of a force traveling to the Cougar Peak fire in Lake County and returning on Sept. 15.
It’s unlikely Lincoln County firefighters will need to deploy elsewhere in Oregon this year, though according to North Lincoln Fire & Rescue Chief Rob Dahlman, they could be called to assist at fires in California, as its fire season is expected to continue well into October.