Fire Season 2017 starts Sunday, regulations go into effect

Jackson Co., Ore. — Firefighting agencies from around the region are gearing up for the beginning of fire season. The official start is this Sunday, and restrictions will be going into effect.

Following those guidelines are how you can help. And this year, local agencies are teaming up more than ever before — with the goal of keeping our community safe this summer.

“Because of how quickly our valley floor grasses and brush are drying out, that’s why we really felt that fire season is here,” Melissa Cano said, spokesperson for the Oregon Department of Forestry.

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,” Cano noted.

“They can ignite very quickly, and then depending on how the wind is shifted, it can move very quickly,” Ashley Blakely added.

Blakely, a spokesperson with Jackson County Fire District Three, says their crews have been getting ready for an early season as well.

“Southwest Oregon gets fire every single year, so they’re very aware of it,” Blakely said.

While the different agencies always work together for larger fires, including a large wildfire in Selma last year, they’re upping their community game this season.

“We partner with the Oregon Department of Forestry to go and do some collaborative training, which is always helpful,” Blakely said. “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.

Cano says the public can help by stopping their burning after Saturday, and following the other regulations going into effect.

“No fireworks, no tracer ammunition, things of that nature,” Cano explained.

By doing your part to minimize the risk of fires., Cano says firefighters will take on the rest of the work, for what’s expected to be another busy fire season.

For a complete list of the regulations going into effect on Sunday, click here.

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