Outdoor Burning Bans Mark Beginning of Fire Season

May 8, 2019

Unseasonably hot temperatures and low humidity have led the Lane Fire Defense Board to temporarily ban outdoor fire activities. Beginning this Thursday in Lane County, the spring outdoor burning season will be suspended for one week.

Smoke and pollutants from fires in the Willamette Valley are factors of poor air quality.
Credit Karen Richards

Senior Meteorologist for the National Weather Service, Treena Jensen, says that burn bans are issued for fire spreading concerns as well as air quality and smoke issues.

“If you have wildfires anywhere in the area,” says Jensen, “and smoke gets into those lower levels, then it’s definitely a problem. It’s hard to forecast if we’re going to have as much wildfires as we did last summer, but I could see us having some periods where the air quality is not great.”

Jensen says these bans would typically happen much later in the season. Although larger forest fuels like trees are not quite ready to burn, grass and brush are highly flammable.

Copyright KLCC, 2019.