LGFD Reminds residents to follow yard debris burning regulations this spring

LA GRANDE – During the months of April and May, along with October and November, La Grande city ordinances allow for the controlled burning of yard debris. During the spring yard debris burning period, the La Grande fire department encourages all residents to follow safe burning guidelines and understand what legally can and cannot be burnt as “yard debris.” Recommendations for pre-burning preparations, as posted by the LGFD via social media, are as follows:

  1. “Call LGFD (541-963-3123) to obtain a burn permit. As has been the case with the last several years, permits are free.
  • Call the Union County Smoke Management Center. Press option #2. The recorded information will tell you if you can burn that day as it relates to air quality conditions.
  • Determine if the wind speed at your burning location is 10 mph or below.
  • Ensure that after you light your pile of yard debris, there will be someone physically present with the burning pile until it is out. This person should be familiar with the burning regulations and capable of putting the fire out.
  • Make sure that any burning you are doing will be FULLY completed by sunset.
  • Have a rake or shovel AND a hose connected to a working water supply that is charged and readily available at your burn pile.
  • Call LGFD (541-963-3123) when you are ready to ignite your pile of debris.”

Proper burning procedures, along with what debris can actually be burned, are also as follows:

  1. “The immediate area should be cleared of standing grass or other combustible materials.
  • Burn piles should be stacked loosely, to allow for good air flow and clean burning. If you have multiple piles, only one pile can be burned at a time.
  • Burn pile size should be no more than 3’ in diameter, and no more than 2’ in height.
  • Your pile must be located at least 25’ away from combustible structures and materials. In larger areas where you can achieve a distance of 50’, pile size can increase to 10’ in diameter and 5’ in height. Piles in excess of this measurement are in violation of the ordinance.
  • No materials may be burned other than: Small pruned tree limbs, vines, shrubs, other yard/garden debris and untreated-milled lumber. Lawn clippings and leaves are NOT allowed. ALL materials must be DRY.
  • Burning of materials that produce dense smoke or odors is prohibited. A list of prohibited items can be found in the ordinance.”

Since the opening of the 2024 spring burn period, the LGFD have reportedly already received burn complaints for both legal and illegal burning. As a general rule, first time burn offenses will result in education from the LGFD, while subsequent or particularly blatant offenses can result in a $500 fine or even criminal sanctions in the most egregious of cases. Also, residents are reminded that “Burning barrels and the burning of trash are ALWAYS prohibited within city limits.”

Any residents with questions on the city’s burn policy, that would like to purchase a burn permit, or report debris burning in advance, should call the LGFD business line at 1-541-963-3123.