PENDLETON — Umatilla County farmers can burn fields until Saturday. The county board of commissioners approved a temporary lift to agricultural burning effective noon Wednesday.

The county board of commissioners discussed the ban Tuesday during a meeting with department heads. Commissioners George Murdock and Larry Givens said farmers asked if the county could lift the ban. Gina Miller, county code enforcement director and liaison to the smoke management program, reiterated that point Wednesday morning during the board’s regular meeting.

“We’ve had several requests from local farmers who need to get some fields taken care of to get their new crops in the ground by mid-September,” Miller said.

Other local jurisdictions have not lifted their burn bans, she said, and the county’s ban on ag burning would again go into effect Saturday due to the Pendleton Round-Up, then lift again after Round-Up. The temporary removal of the ban allows local farmers a few days to burn fields, she said.

The county board approved the plan.

Miller said burn day protocol still is in effect. Farmers and other residents who want to burn have to check the county website for daily burn determinations at or call the county burn line at 541-278-6397. You also can find burn day determinations on Facebook at Umatilla County Smoke Management.

The county’s non-ag burn ban remains in effect. The county usually allows non-ag burning to resume in October.

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