Fire officials seeing exponential increases in escaped burns

MT. VERNON, OR – Yesterday, the Mt. Vernon Rural Fire Department was paged out for a grass fire caused by an escaped burn, about 3 miles up Wiley Creek. No further information was released on that call. According to ODF’s Fossil Subunit Supervisor Marc DesJardin, officials are seeing more escaped burns this year on the John Day Unit and statewide:

“We’ve definitely been seeing an exponential uptick in human-caused fires this spring, compared to the 10-year and even 20-year averages. The big thing that’s been getting folks lately is the afternoon and evening winds.”

DesJardin says it’s wise to do your burning in the morning, always keep an eye on it, and have a water source such as a charged garden hose nearby.