LA GRANDE — Fire season will officially end at 12:01 a.m. Friday in Northeastern Oregon, the Oregon Department of Forestry has announced.

This affects the Northeast District, which includes more than 2 million acres of private, state, county, municipal and tribal lands protected by Oregon Department of Forestry. The Northeast Oregon District includes lands in the following counties: Union, Baker, Umatilla, Wallowa and small portions of Grant, Morrow and Malheur counties.

The Northeast Oregon District has responded to a total of 67 fires this year on ODF-protected land. There have been 50 lightning fires that burned 49 acres. Another 17 fires were humancaused and burned a total of 350 acres.

“While we have received a fair amount of precipitation around the region, there’s still a chance of fires burning well on dry and windy days,” said Matt Hoehna, Pendleton Unit forester for ODF. “There are lots of opportunities for folks to get out and enjoy our beautiful fall, but we are still asking them to be careful. The fact that we are no longer in fire season doesn’t mean there isn’t some risk of a fire escaping.”

With the termination of fire season, requirements for obtaining a burn permit for residential yard debris burning and burn barrels are no longer in effect. Terminating fire season does not relieve landowners or forest operators of lawful responsibilities concerning the safe burning of debris or slash piles.

“Landowners with large debris piles or slash to burn should exercise extreme caution,” Hoehna said. “It is still very early in the fall and there could be drier weather ahead of us. Waiting for more precipitation is a good way to mitigate the risk of an escaped burn.”

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