The City of Grants Pass recognizes that residents utilize the open burn window to dispose of woody vegetation that has accumulated throughout the winter months. However, it’s important to weigh possible effects on the wider community. Smoke from fires during the current pandemic may result in the following negative consequences for the public and first responders:
Smoke inhalation can cause upper respiratory symptoms, which could be incorrectly attributed to COVID-19, leading to unnecessary testing or self-isolation. Exposure to smoke and other forms of air pollution can increase the risk of contracting an infectious respiratory disease such as COVID-19, increase the severity of existing respiratory infections, and worsen underlying chronic respiratory conditions.
There is a severe shortage of personal protective equipment to reduce smoke exposure at this time. First responders are on a heightened level of response to COVID-19 and reducing calls for smoke investigation and escaped open burns keeps resources available.
COVID-19 affects the respiratory system. Fever, cough and difficulty breathing are the most common symptoms. While some people with COVID-19 are hospitalized, most patients recover at home, where smoke from a nearby outdoor burn could worsen their condition. To avoid additional health impacts, the Oregon State Fire Marshal has asked all people in Oregon to voluntarily refrain from conducting outdoor burning activities until further notice. We have elected to follow their guidance.
The City of Grants Pass encourages the public to compost, chip or take your yard debris to a recycling center. You can also contact your sanitation service for a green waste container.
Republic Services: 541-479-3371
Southern Oregon Sanitation: 541-479-5335
Please contact the Fire Prevention Bureau for questions, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday (closed for lunch from noon to 1 p.m.). Offices are closed to in-person contacts due to COVID-19.