Illegal weed burn sparks brush fire; crews keep it to less than half-acre

Courtesy Bend Fire

An illegal weed burn sparked a brush fire in Bend Wednesday that crews were able to keep under a half-acre.

Bend Fire & Rescue responded to the fire just before noon at Bear Creek Road east of Highway 27.

Deputy Fire Marshal Dan Derlacki said the property owner was out burning weeds with a propane torch when it got away from him.

Derlacki said although we’ve had some rain in the past week, the vegetation is still very dry and we are still in extreme fire danger thoughtout Central Oregon.

The occupant was cited for burning during fire season.

As a reminder, all burning bans throughout Central Oregon are still in place heading into the weekend.

Even though we are expecting some rain this weekend, we are still in extreme fire danger until we do actually see the rain and see what effect it has on the dryness of the vegetation.

In Bend that means no debris burning or open campfires are allowed.

There are a few exceptions to this ban in Bend including gas fire pits and commercially manufactured fire pits. ODF has relaxed some industrial precautions related to chain saw use but all burning is still prohibited. Burn bans will be reviewed after sustained rain has fallen and our fire danger reduced.

“We are asking everyone to hold off having any fires this weekend, whether it be campfires or burning of yard debris, even if rain starts to fall,” Derlacki said.

Failure to do so could result in up to a $500 fine.

Be sure to check out the restrictions for where you live. There are many parts of Bend’s fire district that are covered by both Bend Fire Department and ODF. Both restrictions apply in that case. USFS, BLM and other fire districts all have similar burn restrictions still in place.


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