Firefighters Prep for Wildfire Season

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ASHLAND, Ore. — It is not wildfire season just yet, but crews are already fighting fires in dry brush. Firefighters were called out to several fires on Thursday.

With just two days into the month of May, wildland fire crews thought their jobs this time of year was to clear out vegetation; instead, they’re fighting fires.

On Thursday afternoon, grass fires near Ashland spread to five acres, and as the temperatures heat up and the brush dries out, fire crews say they are getting their firefighters ready for more incidents like this.

The Oregon Department of Forestry called back 10 experienced firefighters this month, and they were supposed to be clearing out vegetation but all this week they have been out and about chasing grass fires.

The Medford Fire Department has also been starting its training. They’re giving firefighters a refresher course on how to use its wildland trucks and equipment.

They’re also working with other fire departments across the valley to make sure they know how to communicate and work together in the event of a large fire.

ODF says it’s also watching the forecast. They say lightning in high elevations with thick brush could be enough to start a larger grass fire.