Bend Fire and Rescue warns of early extreme fire conditions

Bend Fire and Rescue is calling for extreme caution with field burns in the coming weeks as our lack of winter snow and recent warm temps has led to a tinder dry landscape.

Battalion Chief Patricia Connolly said crews have been called to a large number of escaped field burns over the last few weeks.

In almost all cases, residents did not apply for a burn permit, have enough help to manage the fire, and did not have adequate water supply available, Connolly said.

Low humidity, windy conditions, and little rain has contributed to the increased fire behavior.

“We are seeing mores fires because there was little snow this year” Connolly said. “Low moisture level in fuels and gusty winds contribute to fires igniting quickly and growing rapidly in size.”

The months of February and March alone have already seen 18 fires from escape controlled burns, she said.

‘As we spend more time at home, it is an excellent time to clean up around the property to abate any fire risk for this summer by creating defensible space,” she said. “But we ask our community to obtain a burning permit, create fuel breaks, have help, and insure an adequate water supply with appropriate equipment before burning on their property. Please remember to call before you burn to insure burning has not been closed for the day due to winds.

To learn about this year’s free disposal dates and tips on how to create defensible space, visit www.firefree.org

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