EUGENE, Ore. — Many of the fires over the weekend started as burn piles that got out of hand, quickly consuming multiple acres.
Oregon has only received 30 percent of its usual rainfall so far in 2013. Low humidity and wind gusts up to 30 mph added to the dry weather over the weekend, which the Oregon Department of Forestry says was the perfect storm.
Add to that people trying to burn their brush before the end of the season and it was even more fuel for the fires.
May is well within standard burning season, but the dozens of fires enhanced by the weekend’s weather prompted authorities to put a ban on open burning.
Experts don’t see it getting lifted any time soon.
“I would not anticipate us opening that up unless we get a monsoon or something comes through because it’s going to stay dry. It may rain a little bit, but it won’t be enough to penetrate deep enough,” said Randy Wood, Lane County Fire Defense Board.
Normally burning would be allowed through June 15; but with all the damage done this weekend by two of the three big fires caused from out of control burn piles, authorities can’t take the chance.
So, if you have a burn pile you were waiting to get rid of, you’ll likely be stuck with it until October or so, once fire season is done.