Wildfire Update

Fire season in southwest Oregon starts May 1

MEDFORD, Ore. – The Oregon Department of Forestry’s Southwest Oregon District will start fire season on Friday, May 1, at 12:01 a.m. The fire danger level will be Low (green) and the Industrial Fire Precaution Level will be 1 (one).

Open burning on all lands protected by ODF in Jackson and Josephine counties will be prohibited; most of the wildfires that ODF has responded to this month were caused by open burning. The district tallied 34 fires that burned 32 acres in the month of April.

Other fire prevention regulations going into effect on Friday include:

  • The use of tracer ammunition and exploding targets, which are disallowed on all lands at all times;
  • The use of fireworks;
  • Smoking in areas with dry vegetation;
  • Campfires are allowed during low “green” fire danger with landowner’s permission;
  • The use of electric fence controllers must be in accordance with manufacturers’ instructions for grounding and vegetation clearance.

In addition to unusual seasonal dryness this year, drought conditions have recurred over much of the West. Rainfall amounts in the Rogue Basin are several inches lower than normal, and the extended forecast for fire season conditions calls for continued below-normal precipitation and above-normal temperatures.

The Southwest Oregon District protects 1.8 million acres of private, state, county and Bureau of Land Management wildlands in Jackson and Josephine counties. For questions about open burning and wildland fire protection regulations, call the district office at 541-664-3328.