The Oregon Department of Forestry declared the start of fire season for the Southwest Oregon District, beginning Friday, May 1, at 12:01 a.m.

The fire danger level is Low (green) and the Industrial Fire Precaution Level is 1 (one).

All open burning is prohibited. Please observe that this includes burn barrels or incinerators. (Because of locally very dry conditions, the burn ban was already in effect within our own district by April 20th.)

We are about a month ahead of conditions typical for this time of year: BE MINDFUL OF THE POTENTIAL FOR FIRE, AND THINK BEFORE YOU ACT. CONSIDER FIRE SAFETY FIRST.

ODF's 4/29/20 news release states that:

"Open burning on all lands protected by ODF in Jackson and Josephine counties is prohibited; most of the wildfires that ODF has responded to this [last] month were caused by open burning. The district tallied 34 fires that burned 32 acres in the month of April.

"Other fire prevention regulations going into effect on Friday include:

- The use of tracer ammunition and exploding targets, which are disallowed on all lands at all times;

- The use of fireworks;

- Smoking in areas with dry vegetation;

- Campfires, except in designated campgrounds and on private lands with the landowner’s permission;

- The use of electric fence controllers must be in accordance with manufacturers’ instructions for grounding and vegetation clearance.

"In addition to unusual seasonal dryness this year, drought conditions have recurred over much of the West. Rainfall amounts in the Rogue Basin are several inches lower than normal, and the extended forecast for fire season conditions calls for continued below-normal precipitation and above-normal temperatures. 

"The Southwest Oregon District protects 1.8 million acres of private, state, county and Bureau of Land Management wildlands in Jackson and Josephine counties. For questions about open burning and wildland fire protection regulations, call the district office at 541-664-3328."


Additional information from Dave Larson, District Forester, Southwest Oregon District, Oregon Dept. of Forestry, on Tues., 4/28/20, states that:

 ". . . in order to help curb the number of human caused fires (escaped backyard burns) the Southwest Oregon District will be going into Fire Season district wide at 12:01am on May 1st. Also along with the proclamation of fire season, the Southwest Oregon District will be initiating our Public Use Restrictions (Regulated Use) district wide. These restrictions are in addition to the fire season prohibitions and are regulated by the fire danger adjective level.

"Even with rain forecasted this weekend, the duration will not be enough to [?] in the long term. Drought conditions now exist district wide and it won’t take much sun or wind to rapidly dry fuels out. Since April 1st we have had 34 fires for a total of 31.75 acres. [ . . . ]"

Larson includes a Public Use Restriction Card (1-page pdf) that coordinates fire danger levels with associated restrictions during fire season.


Fire managers across our region are anticipating a potentially serious (explosive?) season. Adhering to regulations will be crucial this year, as time to prepare our homes and properties has been shortened by one month.

While we can't change this timeline, we can make up some of this difference by being very vigilant and very careful in all that we do, with the steady goal of getting through this season safely. Thank you for participating in fire safety and prevention.

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 and check back for updates.

For additional information, see:

ODF's Southwest Oregon District web log at (or

ODF's map of Industrial closures and public regulated use proclamations;

ODF's chart of Industrial closures and public regulated use closures.

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.

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