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The City of Portland, Oregon

Fire & Rescue

Always Ready, Always There

Phone: 503-823-3700

Fax: 503-823-3710

55 SW Ash Street, Portland, OR 97204

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PF&R Responds to Over 500 Fire Incidents During Red Flag Fire Weather Event & Deploys 70 Firefighters to Regional Wildfires

Portlanders Asked to Take Extreme Fire Precautions

firefighter with emergency tape

As red flag weather conditions descended on Portland and sparked unprecedented multiple wildfires around the region, Portland Fire & Rescue responded to back-to-back incidents around the area. From downed power lines to trees crashing into cars and buildings to wind-stoked fires, PF&R is working around the clock to keep Portland safe. Since Monday, PF&R has responded to over 500 fire calls while in the previous three days we responded to 152.

Portland firefighters who are part of Incident Command Teams overseen by the Oregon Fire Marshal’s Office have already been deployed around the state to work on wildfires. Task forces were created to address the immediate needs in our neighboring counties that are fighting multiple wildfires requiring evacuations. We are supplying as much mutual aid as we can while still protecting Portland. To date, 70 Portland Fire & Rescue firefighters have been deployed around the state and we have put five fire engines, one water tender, and one brush unit on the road to assist Clackamas County and Medford in their wildfire fight.

“This is an unprecedented fire event affecting our state and it requires all of us to work together as a community,” says Fire Chief Sara Boone. “Thank you to our firefighters who left their homes to combat these wildfires that are destroying lives and property across Oregon. I want to recognize that many City of Portland employees, including firefighters, have been forced to evacuate their homes and are experiencing loss. I am asking every single person in Portland to do their part to prevent fires in the city.”

Fire staffing in the state is stretched thin and it is of the utmost importance that Portlanders take extreme preventative measures to make sure no fires are started. Some suggested measures Portlanders can take to protect themselves and the community are below:

  • Do not BBQ or create outdoor fires during this dangerous period.
  • Do not smoke outside and make sure inside cigarette butts are extinguished fully in a non-combustible ashtray.
  • Do not use any machinery that creates sparks outside.
  • If you live next to a natural area, you should provide firefighters with the defensible space they need to protect your home. Create a buffer zone by removing weeds, brush and other vegetation. This helps keep the fire away from your home and reduces the risk from flying embers.
  • Sign up to receive emergency alerts at
  • Be aware: if you see a fire, no matter how small, call 9-1-1.
  • Learn what to do at different emergency evacuation levels:

Level 1: Get Ready
Level 2: Be Set
Level 3: GO!

VIDEO: PF&R Returns from Wildfire Response

The next step? Getting all of our gear ready to go out again.

This video explores PF&R's demobilization from the statewide wildfire response. We still have folks in the field, but most of our crews and apparatus are back. Next step? Getting everything serviced in case we get called out again.

VIDEO: How to Prep Like a Firefighter

September is National Preparedness Month

Are you prepared for the unexpected? See how our firefighters prepare at the station in case of an emergency such as an earthquake.

Fire Prevention Week: Cooking Safely

PF&R is serving up a generous helping of kitchen fire safety tips for Fire Prevention Week

Great Chicago Fire of 1871      The Great Chicago Fire of 1871

Fire Prevention Week was established in 1922 to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.  The incident killed nearly 300 people, destroyed thousands of structures, and left 100,000 people homeless. In 1925, President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed Fire Prevention Week a national observance, making it the longest-running public health observance in our country.

Cooking is the #1 cause of home fires and home fire injuries in the United States, so this year’s Fire Prevention Week (October 4th – 10th) theme is “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!” Unattended cooking is the leading cause of fires in the kitchen, and scald burns from hot liquids are the second leading cause of all burn injuries. A few simple but effective actions can be taken to keep your loved ones safe in the kitchen.

Stay focused on the food when cooking – unattended cooking is the leading cause of fires in the kitchen.

kitchen fire caused by distractions

Put a lid on it – a simple step when a stove top fire gets out of control.

Put a lid on a pot that is on fire

Keep cooking areas clear – remove clutter and give cooking appliances space.

A cluttered stove is a fire hazard

Prevent scalds and burns – turn pot handles in and keep them away from counter edges.

A pot handle turned inwards on a stovetop

For more information on how to serve up safety in the kitchen, check out our tips on Cooking Safely

Burn Ban Lifted Oct. 8, 2020 for Multnomah County

Fire Defense Board Chief Scott Lewis has lifted the outdoor burn ban in all areas of Multnomah County on Oct. 8, 2020

Fire Defense Board Chief Scott Lewis has lifted the outdoor burn ban in all areas of Multnomah County on Oct. 8, 2020. The burn ban has been lifted due to the cooler overnight temperatures, increase in nighttime moisture, and anticipated rainfall, which has improved the moisture content of the local ground cover.

With the recent wildfires throughout Oregon, make sure outdoor burning is conducted with safety at the forefront.

Recreational campfires and fire pits are now permitted. Yard debris and open burning is not permitted in the City of Portland.

There are air quality burn bans that can still be put in effect in the Portland area by the Multnomah County Health Department. You can check the air quality/burning status here:  

Remember: regardless of a burn ban status, please take care with recreational fires.

Some safety information about legal, recreational fires:

1. A recreational fire located in a pit shall be no closer than 25 feet from a structure. Fires contained in fireplace-type receptacles or chimeneas shall be no closer than 15 feet from a structure or the distance listed in the manufacture’s instruction, whichever is less. When required by the Fire Marshal, outdoor burning device stacks shall be equipped with a spark-arresting, 12-gauge wire mesh screen with openings of not less than 3/8” nor more than 1/2”.

2. A responsible person shall be in attendance at all times and have approved fire-extinguishing equipment close at hand.

3. No garbage or similar material is to be burned in these fires.

4. Observe common safety practices while enjoying the recreational fire, e.g. cease burning if the wind picks up to 15 mph or higher, be careful with the consumption of alcohol by any persons around the fire, watch small children in the vicinity, etc.

More information about outside burning: