ROGUE RIVER, Ore. — Warm, dry weather has settled in to Southern Oregon over the past few days and the Oregon Department of Forestry is preparing for the possibility for an early fire season.
This “fire danger” meter has not been activated as fire season has yet to begin, but Oregon Department of Forestry officials say the arrow could move to “moderate” and mark and earlier fire season if the dry weather continues.
Just this week, ODF crews have responded to a 10 acre fire west of Rogue River and a 6 acre fire near prospect. Officials say these fires have grabbed their attention because usually fires are closer to a quarter to half an acre this time of year.
A 10 person crew has been working on fuel reduction projects but was pulled away to respond to this week’s fires. ODF officials say the size and location of the fires says a lot about current conditions.
“They were both on slopes that get the most sun so that’s a pretty good indicator for us that we better be ready, and we are,” said Brian Ballou, with Oregon Dept. of Forestry.
ODF is making final preparations and interviewing for 7 front-line firefighters at their Medford Office. Officials say historic record shows it’s not uncommon for fire season to begin in May.
ODF officials also encourage people to finish any burning still needed to be down by calling the county burn line and doing it early on a day with no wind and with a hose and shovel nearby.