Forest service agencies prep for wildfire season and coronavirus

MEDFORD, Ore.– As summer months are closing in, forest services are gearing up for what may be a unique fire season.

State and federal officials are looking at how to combat wildfires if coronavirus is still an issue this summer. Oregon Department of Forestry says its talked about changing operations such as implementing physical distancing at fire camps or teleconferencing morning meetings to crews.

But much of the guidelines stem from the federal level.

“People are gonna start going to fires before very long so the people making guidelines for protocols for the coronavirus, they know they got to have something in place very very soon,” said Brian Ballou, spokesperson for ODF Southwest District.

With most people staying at home, Ballou says the chances of human-caused fires may be reduced. However, natural causes like lightning always pose a threat.

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