Fire danger may increase quickly as grasses dry2 min read
Salem, OR – As of today, July 11, all Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) districts are in fire season. This means that public use restrictions may be in place where you live or at a destination you plan on recreating to reduce the risk of human-caused wildfires.
Compared with previous years, this is a slightly delayed start to the season for the state. The heavy rains in May and June of this year have helped in that. However, ODF urges Oregonians to remain vigilant in preventing human-caused wildfire.
“Don’t be lulled into complacency because of the weather,” said Mike Shaw, Fire Protection Division Chief. “July and August historically have higher fire activity, and ODF is ready to respond, but we need the cooperation of Oregonians so we don’t strain our resources on fires that could have been avoided.”
A large concern for the agency are the ground fuels, like grass, that grew tall due to the spring rains but will dry out quickly, becoming a greater risk for human-caused fires. Those ground fuels will be able to catch fire easily and will then burn and spread quickly. Therefore, it is extremely important for Oregonians to continue to practice wildfire prevention this summer.
Wildfire prevention for Oregonians means:
- 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 park your car over dried grass and make sure it is regularly maintained in order to reduce the risk of sparks.
- 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.
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 Northwest Oregon district was the last to declare on July 11.
For more information on how you can help prevent wildfires, visit keeporegongreen.org.