POST-FIRE SEASON NO OPEN BURNING RESTRICTION HAS BEEN LIFTED as of Wed. am Nov. 20th):
The 2019 fire season ended October 1st. All remaining fire season restrictions were lifted at that time. (The text of ODF's declaration ending fire season is reproduced below.)
However, with the extended dry weather this fall and renewed concern over redeveloping fire weather conditions, on October 25th, the ODF issued a news release advising the public on safety procedures for open burning, observing that "recent higher temperatures and windy conditions have created an increased risk for fire. Debris burn piles typically cause the majority of fires this time of year; piles originally lit in the last two weeks can reignite in these conditions, and spread quickly."
While the ODF did not reinstate a region-wide open burning restriction, a ban was reinstated within the Colestin district based on local conditions, as indicated by our new district-wide red-lettered "No Open Burning" roadside signage. (It is the prerogative of local fire districts to invoke greater fire safety regulations than ODF's if and when the local agency deems it necessary.)
The post-fire season ban was lifted as of 8:00 am on Wednesday, Nov. 20th. Our new "OK to burn" green signs have also replaced the "No Open Burning" signs. Recent weather conditions coupled with lower temperatures have lowered the fire danger sufficiently to allow for our Fire Chief, Steve Avgeris, to lift the ban earlier this week. While the recent weather system did not drop much rain, moisture at this time of the year does not dry out as easily; shorter days and lower temperatures help to lessen fire activity and out-of-control fires.
Since we are still experiencing some dry weather, please continue to use caution in all activities where there may be a fire risk, particularly with any open burning.
Please also bear in mind that, although we appear slated for a more typical wet pattern in the weeks ahead, that isn't guaranteed. Any time during the off-season that weather and fire danger conditions render it necessary, the No Open Burning signs could go back up. Any such changes will always be posted here on our website.
Thank you for observing and abiding by the recent post-fire season restriction, and for your continued participation in fire prevention.
Here is the text of ODF's Mon. 9/30/19 news release declaring the end of the 2019 fire season [bolded style except for title added by CRFD; bear in mind that the above ban on open burning modifies the following]:
September 30, 2019
Oregon Department of Forestry - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Southwest Oregon District
5286 Table Rock Rd.
Central Point, OR 97502
Fire Season Ends Tomorrow, but Fire Prevention Continues
After 122 days, the 2019 fire season will end on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Southwest Oregon District Tuesday, October 1, 2019 at 12:01 a.m. Lands affected by this declaration include state, private, county, city, and Bureau of Land Management forestlands in Jackson and Josephine counties.
Recent rains and consistent cooler temperatures have made the conclusion of fire season possible. While this year has been mild in comparison to the 2018 fire season, our firefighters still kept busy on fires and additional calls; since June 1, crews extinguished 214 fires that made up 324 acres total. This is a remarkable accomplishment for the District, as firefighters were able to keep more than 98% of fires under 10 acres. This total fire count does not even include the number of alarms firefighters responded to related to fire restriction violations, assisting our local partners, and smoke chases throughout Jackson and Josephine Counties.
The termination of fire season removes fire prevention regulations on equipment use and the use of fire for debris burning. This applies to the public and industrial operations on forestlands. However, many structural fire agencies require permits for debris burning; please check with your local fire department to obtain any necessary permits before burning, and call your county’s burn line:
Jackson County: (541) 776-7007
Josephine County: (541) 476-9663
This is a great reminder; while fire season is over, fire prevention must continue. Please be vigilant while burning debris making sure that a burn pile is never left unattended. Also, please use caution while using machinery that could produce a spark. Fall weather in Southern Oregon can vary greatly.
While fire season is coming to a close, we are still here to help. Fire prevention tips and additional information is available online at www.swofire.com, our Facebook page: @ODFSouthwest, or you can call/visit the Southwest Oregon District office nearest to you:
• Medford Unit, 5286 Table Rock Rd., Central Point. (541) 664-3328
• Grants Pass Unit, 5375 Monument Dr., Grants Pass. (541) 474-3152
MINIMUM fire precaution levels and restrictions are assigned during fire season by the ODF and affect all state, private, county, city and BLM forestlands, including all wildland within the Colestin fire district.
Additional fire precaution restrictions may be assigned by our local District.
Please observe all restrictions and regulations voluntarily; violators will be cited and may be prosecuted if necessary. Also, please report any violators you become aware of.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns about regulated activity restrictions, call us at (541) 488-1768, or contact Chief Steve Avgeris directly at: (cell #): (541-821-8339. You can also contact the ODF directly at (541) 664-3328.
Current restrictions and updates are always posted here on our website, and in our bulletin case at the postal kiosk on the Mt. Ashland ski road and in the bulletin case at our kiosk at the south end of the valley.
Bookmark www.crfd.org and check back for updates.
For additional information, see:
Thank you for your cooperation and participation in wildfire preparedness, protection and prevention.
Check our Fire Season & Fire News Archives page for links to yearly logs of previous fire seasons, ODF bulletins and news, and specific fire incident and photo archives.