Fire season begins Friday, June 1, at 12:01 a.m. on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Southwest Oregon District. Lands affected by this declaration include state, private, county, city, and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) forestlands in Jackson and Josephine counties.
“Rainfall across southwest Oregon is below average, and the above normal temperatures this May are causing our grasses to cure rapidly in the lower elevations,” said Dave Larson, Southwest Oregon District Forester, “In order to help curb the number of human-caused fires, especially escaped backyard debris burns, the conditions are ripe to declare fire season.”
The fire danger level for the public will be “low” (green) and the Industrial Fire Precaution Level will be I (one).
This means beginning June 1, the following public restrictions will be taking effect on ODF-protected lands in Jackson and Josephine counties:
o No burning of debris piles, or burning debris in burn barrels
o No fireworks
o No tracer ammunition
o No exploding targets
Last year, fire season started on June 4 and ended October 20 lasting a total of 138 days. A total of 350 fires blackened just over 1,000 acres. According to the 10-year average of fires on the District, 230 fires may burn more than 5,600 acres during fire season. Therefore, last year was quite successful for the District. We will continue to keep a safe, yet aggressive initial attack as one of our top priorities entering this season.
Under Industrial Fire Precaution Level I on ODF-protected lands, commercial operations, such as timber harvesting conducted on forestlands, will be required to have fire suppression equipment on the job site at all times. A Firewatch must also be provided.
For additional information about the Oregon Department of Forestry’s fire season regulations, please call or visit the Southwest Oregon District unit office nearest to you:
Medford Unit, 5286 Table Rock Rd., Central Point. (541) 664-3328
Grants Pass Unit, 5375 Monument Dr., Grants Pass. (541) 474-3152
Fire season information is also available online at our Facebook page: ODFSouthwest and our website: www.swofire.com.