Concerns about homeless campfires as temperatures soar - KPTV - FOX 12

Concerns about homeless campfires as temperatures soar

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

With temperatures upwards of 100 degrees expected this weekend, firefighters are issuing a burn ban starting Wednesday. They especially hope homeless campers will take it seriously.

With an increase in homeless camps around Portland, fire crews have been responding to numerous fires at the camps, including in a grove of trees near Lloyd Center last Saturday. 

No one was hurt, but several tents burned and Portland Fire Lt. Rich Chatman says it’s a major concern right now.

“I think mostly because these fires are in areas where people sleep and those fuels, tents and sleeping bags and such, burn quick.”

Chatman says high temperatures, low humidity and lots of dry fuel on the ground is a dangerous recipe for fire. 

Officials have reached out to people in some homeless camps to warn them about the dangers and the burn ban. But they can’t get to everyone and that worries firefighters.

“So our big concern is that we could have a fatality or at least a serious injury as a result of one of these fires because of how fast fire spreads through those kinds of camps,” said Chatman.

The burn ban goes into effect Wednesday. Campfires and outdoor burning are not allowed, but contained barbecues are still OK.

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