RAIN AND COOL WEATHER BRINGS END TO FIRE SEASON FOR PRIVATE LANDS IN CENTRAL OREGON

News Release from Oregon Dept. of Forestry – Posted on FlashAlert: October 23rd, 2015 9:30 AM

Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) Central Oregon District is terminating fire season at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015. Widespread rain across the district last weekend, combined with forecasted cool, moist weather patterns has brought an end to another long difficult fire season. Oregon and the Pacific Northwest experienced the third historic fire season in a row with drought conditions across much of the landscape.

Burn permits are required for all open burning. Permits can be obtained from your local fire department or from the Department of Forestry. Follow all instructions on the burn permit prior to ignition. Ben Duda, Wildland Fire Suppression Specialist in Sisters emphasizes the need to call the local burn information line before you burn, explaining, “Debris burning may be closed on days with forecasted high winds or poor smoke management conditions, such as poor mixing or wind blowing smoke toward populated areas. Since conditions change you really need to call daily.” Contact your local ODF office if you have questions regarding burn restrictions.

The termination of fire season doesn’t mean there is no risk of fire or threat of fire spread. Central Oregon has not experienced a widespread season ending rain event, however fire managers for the district believe the risk of large fire growth is low. Managers encourage landowners to hold off burning until a significant rain event. Practice fire safety and use caution in activities which could ignite a fire. Never leave a campfire or warming fire unattended and be certain it is DEAD OUT! before you leave. To fully extinguish a fire remember to douse the flames, stir, and douse again.

Regulations differ between land managers and landowners. Determine any additional restrictions imposed by landowners prior to traveling into the woods. Contact your local U.S. Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management office for current restrictions on federal forest and rangeland.

Now is the time to begin preparations for next year’s fire season. Technical advice for creating defensible space around your home and reducing hazardous fuels is available from local ODF offices. ODF Stewardship Foresters can also provide guidance for landowners who have been affected by fire, including suggestions for reforesting and planting native plants to provide improved soil stability and water quality.