SALEM, OR – As of today, July 11, all Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) districts are in fire season. This means that public use restrictions can be where you live or at a destination you plan to recreate to reduce the risk of human-caused wildfires.
Compared to previous years, this is a slightly delayed start to the season for the state. The heavy rains in May and June this year helped. However, ODF calls on Oregonians to remain vigilant to prevent human-caused wildfires.
“Do not be complacent in complacency because of the weather,” said Mike Shaw, head of the fire protection department. “July and August have historically had higher fire activities, and ODF is ready to respond, but we need the cooperation of Oregonians so that we do not devote our resources to fires that could have been avoided.”
A major concern for the agency is the ground fuels, such as grass, which have become high due to the spring rains but will dry out quickly, making them a greater risk for man-made fires. Those ground fuels will be able to ignite easily and will then burn and spread quickly. Therefore, it is extremely important for Oregonians to continue to practice wildfire prevention this summer.
Prevention of veld fires for Oregonians means:
- Make sure your campfire is cool to the touch before going to bed or leaving your pitch. Do not forget to Drowning, Stirring, Repeat.
- Go back and look at your litter burner to make sure nothing is reburned due to the heat.
- Do not park your car over dry grass and make sure it is maintained regularly to reduce the risk of sparks.
- Do not throw a cigarette on the ground. It might just be enough to start a grass fire.
- Check local restrictions and fire hazard levels.
ODF protects more than 16 million hectares of private, provincial, state and federal land against veld fires. Most districts begin their fire season around May or June, and the season ends by the end of October. This year, the Southwest Oregon District was the first to declare on June 1, and the Northwest Oregon District was the last to declare on July 11.
For more information on how you can help prevent wildfires, visit keeporegongreen.org.