A burn ban is in place across Lane County as of Sunday night. As KLCC’s Brian Bull reports, it’s due to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases.
The Lane Regional Air Protection Agency (LRAPA) issued the ban, which prohibits the burning of large debris. Spokesperson Travis Knudsen explains his agency’s rationale.
“Breathing in smoke from outdoor burns can increase inflammation in the lungs, which makes a person more prone to catching respiratory illnesses such as the coronavirus," he says. "And then those who are suffering from the coronavirus, inhaling smoke may slow or worsen their condition.”
Knudsen says they’ll keep assessing the pandemic before making any decision to lift the ban. It does not apply to smaller, recreational fires such as home barbecues.
Besides the health risks, officials say there’s already a strain on personal protective equipment and emergency responders, which means limited resources should a burn go out of control.
Violations of the ban can be reported to (541)726-1930 or by visiting LRAPA's complaint page.
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