Medford, Ore. – Firefighting agencies from around the region are gearing up for fire season.
The official start is this Sunday, and restrictions will be going into effect.
All of our regions’ fire agencies always work together each year to make sure that the community stays safe for fire season, but it’s a particular focus this year as we’re going a dry summer.
Oregon Department of Forestry spokesperson Melissa Cano said, “Because of how quickly our valley floor grasses and brush are drying out, that’s why we really felt that fire season is here.”
The call has been made by ODF–fire season 2017 begins this Sunday.
With a big season last summer–and a similar start date this year–Cano says it’s no surprise the department’s fire crews have already been hard at work. “We’re already getting fires of a couple acres in size.”
According to Ashley Blakely with Jackson County Fire District 3, their crews have been getting ready for an early season as well.
“They can ignite very quickly, and then depending on how the wind is shifted, it can move very quickly,” Blakely said. “Southwest Oregon gets fire every single year, so they’re very aware of it.”
While the different agencies always work together for larger fires, they’re upping their community game this season.
Blakely said “We partner with the Oregon Department of Forestry to go and do some collaborative training, which is always helpful, and so we’ll be doing that again this year starting next week.”
Another ally they’re looking to is you. “Our biggest resource is educating the public,” Cano said.
So how can you help? Stop burning after Saturday.
Cano said, “no fireworks, no tracer ammunition–things of that nature.”
By doing your part to minimize the risk of fires Cano said firefighters will take on the rest of the work for what’s expected to be another busy fire season.
While fire season does start on Sunday, not all restrictions are being put in place yet.
Initially the fire danger level will be considered low. The following restrictions are in effect:
- Burning of debris piles or the use of burn barrels for burning debris is prohibited.
- The use of exploding targets is prohibited.
- The use of tracer ammunition is prohibited.
- The use of fireworks is prohibited.