Fire restrictions reduced in So. Oregon as cooler, wetter weather arrives

MEDFORD, Ore. – Local fire agencies want people to know despite fire danger levels lowering, it’s still fire season and to be careful when outside.

As of this morning, ODF Southwest has lowered the fire danger level from ‘high’ to ‘moderate’.

Widespread rain and more forecasted precipitation are the reason ODF decided to move down to moderate.

Most restrictions still remain in place, but the biggest change is power driven equipment, like lawn mowers and chainsaws, they are prohibited between the hours of 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

But a ban on debris burns is still in place.

“Without fail, as soon as we start seeing rain in the fall, we start seeing debris burns and it’s actually really dangerous,” ODF Southwest spokesperson Natalie Weber said. “Because when we have that fall weather come back into play, which looks like it will be back next week in the high 70s with the sunshine, we see those piles reignite and it’s not always when the homeowner is home.”

ODF Southwest said they’ve already responded to some illegal burns over the weekend.

Meanwhile in Douglas County, Douglas Forest Protective Association has lowered its fire danger level to ‘low’.

Coos Forest Protective Association also changed it’s public use restriction to ‘low’, as rain is anticipated for curry and coos counties.

“This rain will take out our one hour and 10 hour fuels,” CFPA spokesperson Jefrey Chase said. “And if we get four days in a row, five days in a row it will take out those 100 hour fuels which is where our fires start and spread and have trouble keeping them in check.”

CFPA said rain could help the anvil and flat fires currently burning in Curry County.

Again, fire agencies want people to continue to be cautious, despite some restrictions being lifted across southern Oregon.

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NBC5 News reporter Zachary Larsen grew up in Surprise, Arizona. He graduated from Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. At ASU, Zack interned at Arizona Sports 98.7FM and Softball America. During his Junior year, Zack joined the ASU Sports Bureau. He covered the Fiesta Bowl, the Phoenix Open and major basketball tournaments. Zack enjoys working out, creative writing, music, and rooting for his ASU Sun Devils.
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