Fire Season 2018 now in effect in Southwest Oregon

CENTRAL POINT, Ore. — Fire season 2018 has officially begun here in Southwest Oregon, and it’s being ushered in with high temperatures and dry conditions. The start date is earlier than last year; The Oregon Department of Forestry is expecting an above average season.

“We’ve been training all week,” ODF Spokesperson Melissa Cano said. “They’re getting the grease back in, and it’s been a few months, so it’s just a pure refresher course for them, make sure they’re sharp and ready.”

But the prep work doesn’t stop there.

“Starting next week, we’ll have more of our seasonal firefighters on board, they’ll go through an investigation training,” Cano said. “By the second week of June, we’ll be fully staffed and have about 100 employees across the district ready to fight fire.”

But Cano says the few crews that have already been working have been busy.

“Twice this week already in the Medford unit, we had two burn piles escape, and I believe once in the grants pass unit, we had a burn pile escape,” Cano said.

While each fire remained under three acres, Cano says burning is a huge concern, especially now that it’s not allowed.

“Unfortunately we will still have some people that try to sneak in a burn pile here or there, but it is now prohibited,” Cano said.

Cano says along with following the rules and restrictions, there are things you can do, to help firefighters this summer.

“Make sure you’re taking care of your home and property, so that way when a fire does come your way, we’re able to defend your home, and make sure your family stays safe,” Cano said.

New restrictions are in effect. Burning, fireworks, tracer ammunition, and exploding targets are no longed allowed on forest land.

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