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  Warm, dry conditions lead to multiple brush fires around Portland metro area   Brush fires across Oregon  

Story by Katherine Cook - Story Source
Published on Thursday April 15, 2021 - 3:27 AM

PORTLAND, Oregon - Warmer weather plus dry, windy conditions have led to a troubling number of brush fires across Oregon, according to state officials.

On Tuesday, the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) reported that 70 fires had burned 402 acres on ODF land already this year. The agency said that's three times the average numbers of fires to date. Forty of those fires started from escaped backyard burn piles, and all of them happened before the official start of fire season.

"We're really starting to adjust our outlook about fire season, that it's not just a few months out of the year," said Chief Cassandra Ulven with Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue (TVF&R). "It's something that we're thinking about nearly all year long."

On Monday, TVF&R crews responded to a small brush fire on Baker Road, just south of Sherwood. It started as a controlled agricultural burn, then spread. Ulven said it's time for people to start thinking about creating a defensible space around their home, to protect their property.