Cowlitz County officials are moving up the Burn Ban that they originally had planned to go into effect on July 1st. At 12:01 this morning, restrictions went up on land-clearing, residential and forest-management burning; this ban also covers camp fires and recreational fires. All current outdoor burn permits are also being rescinded by the Cowlitz County Fire Marshal. Cowlitz County officials say that they’re working with Clark County and other local agencies to coordinate the burn bans, so that they’re consistent across the region. This ban will be in place until at least September 30th, as forecasters predict an early and severe fire year. Contact the Cowlitz County Fire Marshal at 577-3052 if you have other questions.
The Oregon Department of Forestry is also cinching down the fire restrictions in northwest Oregon. Last week, ODF declared the start of Fire Season, enacting restrictions on public use of state forest lands. Restrictions include a ban on fireworks, exploding targets and other “fire-prone activities.” As of last Friday, smoking is allowed only in closed vehicles on improved roads. All open fires are prohibited, including campfires, charcoal fires, cooking fires and warming fires, except at designated locations. Motor vehicle use is restricted to improved roads and designated areas, including motorcycles and ATV’s. Contact the Oregon Department of Forestry for more information.