Officials Prepare Early for Fire Season

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MEDFORD, Ore. — Recent rains have not been enough to pull Southern Oregon out of a severe drought situation and now fire crews are getting ready for what they fear will be an intense wildfire season.

Several fire agencies in the area are prepping for fire season two to four weeks early this year. Hiring has already began for the seasonal fire fighters and agencies have started to inspect equipment.

“We’re gearing up. Starting things earlier and that would mean bringing out fire crews early and doing our training early,” said Bureau of Land Management’s Jim Whittington.

Fire officials say the lack of rainfall and snow pack result in dry foliage that is more susceptible to fire.

Oregon Department of Forestry’s Brian Ballou urges the public to practice safe burning habits over the next few months.

“This year’s a good one to be extra cautious with your burning. To monitor your burn pile at all times and to extinguish it entirely when you’re done burning,” said Ballou.