News, Wildfire Update

Fire Season and Regulated Use Closures Go Into Effect May 12, 2021 on the Oregon Department of Forestry Southwest Oregon District


CENTRAL POINT, Ore.  – Fire Season on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) Southwest Oregon District begins Wednesday, May 12, 2021 at 12:01 a.m. The fire danger level will be “Low” (green) and the Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) will be I (one). Lands affected by this declaration include 1.8 million acres of state, private, county, city and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) forestlands in Jackson and Josephine counties.

Since the beginning of March, the district has responded to more than 50 fires, totaling more than 100 acres; warm temperatures, windy conditions and a lack of spring rain are among the contributing factors that increased fire starts and growth. Fuels across the region are also much drier than normal, reflecting late June-like conditions in mid-May. For these reasons, fire season is being declared in Jackson and Josephine counties.

Beginning Wednesday, the burning of debris piles and the use of burn barrels for burning debris will no longer be allowed in Jackson and Josephine counties. Over the past couple of weeks, our crews have responded to multiple debris burns that have escaped; landowners are encouraged to check their previously burned piles from this spring and confirm that they have been extinguished.

In low fire danger, the following activities are prohibited:

  • No debris burning, including piles and debris burned in burn barrels.
  • No fireworks on or within 1/8 of a mile of forestland.
  • Exploding targets and tracer ammunition, or any bullet with a pyrotechnic charge in its base, are prohibited.
  • Campfires are allowed in designated campgrounds, and on private land with the landowner’s permission. Portable stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels may be used as well.
  • Smoking while traveling will only be allowed in enclosed vehicles on improved roads, in boats on the water and other specifically designated locations.
  • Any electric fence controllers must be approved by a nationally recognized testing laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories Inc., or be certified by the Department of Consumer and Business Services, and be installed and used in compliance with the fence controller’s instructions for fire safe operation.

Under IFPL I (one) – fire season requirements are in effect. In addition to the following:

  • A Firewatch is required at this and all higher levels unless otherwise waived.

For more 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

Additional information about fire season is also available online on our website, www.swofire.com,  our Facebook page, @ODFSouthwest and our Twitter account, @swofire.