MERLIN, Ore. – Warm weather continues into October in Southern Oregon, and it’s keeping firefighters busy.
Fire crews say its unusual to continue battling wildfires this late into the year, but they say the warm weather is bringing them more work at a time they normally don’t get it. Local fire companies say they are very surprised. Instead of falling leaves and cooling temperatures, they’re getting hot days and more work.
Grayback Forestry in Merlin says the dry weather across the Northwest has kept them busy. They have 60 crew members on wildfires in Washington state. They say normally at this time of year, they will be slowing down their firefighting and moving into fuel reduction work, but those crews are happy to keep getting work while they can.
The fire danger level is still extreme for southwest Oregon and the Oregon Department of Forestry says burning restrictions are still in place. They are also warning hunters to not use tracer rounds that could potentially start a fire. ODF says these conditions are not typical, but dry autumns have happened in the past. They say some years have seen fire season stretch all the way to Thanksgiving.