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Driest Year Mixed With Stagnation

dry lakesMEDFORD, Ore. — The Oregon Department of Forestry is bracing for another extremely busy fire season.

Some prescribed burns are now on hold because of the air stagnation, meaning more fuel is available for potential fires and dry fuel.

2013 was the driest year on record for most of Southern Oregon and a drought is last thing fire crews need, looking back on how last year played out.

“We were essentially chasing fires pretty regularly starting in May and it didn’t let up until we got a lot of rain in the latter part of September. If it keeps going on this trend then we’re going to be busy with firefighting pretty early in the spring I would think,” said Brian Ballou, with the Oregon Department of Forestry.

Ballou says the bills from last year’s fire season have not been paid yet, but he knows where that money will come from, but combining the busy 2013 season with another expensive 2014 could be a challenge.