Fire officials warn: Keep Christmas trees watered or it's time to toss

EUGENE, Ore. -- Christmas is over and it's time to take down your tree before they turn into a fire hazard.

Coos Bay fire chief Stan Gibson asks people to keep an eye on their pine for as long as it's in the home, as they have been known to cause house fires after they have dried out.

"We want people to make sure that if they keep their Christmas tree in their house for this next week that it's watered, it's not drying out too much and to make sure (their lights) are still working properly," said Gibson. "Make sure there's no lights that are blinking that shouldn't be and their having electrical shorts."

Gibson said if you grab a branch and can pull out the needles it's time to get rid of your tree.

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Tree collection services for the Eugene/Springfield area:

Alvadore Community Chest is collecting Saturdays Dec. 28 and Jan. 4. Donations go to their non-profit helping rural families facing financial crisis. They are primarily serving west Eugene/Alvadore area (97402 & 97404). Call 541-689-3703 to schedule a pickup.

Eugene Boy Scout troop 100 is collecting trees for $5 a piece to help fund a trip to New Mexico. Call 541-342-1115 or email the troop leaders at to schedule a pickup.

McCornack Elementary is holding a tree collection service to help raise money for a trip to Washington D.C. for their fifth-graders. They are charging $10 per tree. The school won't accept flocked trees. Visit their website for more information.

Sheldon Boosters will be picking up trees for residents living in the high school's zoned area, and charges $10 per tree, $15 for flocked. Pickup starts at 8 a.m. January 4. Call 541-344-5400 to schedule a pickup.