All Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) districts are in fire season. This means that fire restrictions and danger levels may be in place where you live or at a destination you plan on recreating to reduce the risk of human-caused wildfires. ODF protects over 16 million acres of private, county, state, and federal land from wildfire. Most districts start their fire season around May or June, and the season ends around the end of October. This year, the Southwest Oregon district was the first to declare on June 1, and the North Cascade District was the last to declare on July 1.
“We are experiencing some active fire behavior for this early in the season,” said Mike Shaw, Fire Protection Division Chief. “Heading into late summer, which historically has higher fire activity, ODF is ready to protect Oregon lands. However, prevention is our number one tool to reduce property loss and firefighting costs. We need the cooperation of Oregonians to do that so we don’t strain our resources on fires that could have been avoided.”
A large concern for the agency is travelers throughout the state looking to recreate in Oregon’s forests. We want to remind people to not park their car over dried grass, don’t drag your tow chains and make sure your car is recently serviced. Ground fuels on the side of a road will catch fire easily and then burn and spread quickly. By actively practicing wildfire prevention, you could prevent a roadside or large wildfire.
Other wildfire prevention tips include:
Make sure your campfire is cool to the touch before going to sleep or leaving your site. Don’t forget to Drown, Stir, Repeat.
Go back and check on your debris burn site to make sure nothing reignites due to the heat.
Don’t flick a cigarette onto the ground. It may be just enough to start a grass fire.
Check local restrictions and fire danger levels.
For more information on how you can help prevent wildfires, visit keeporegongreen.org.