MEDFORD, Ore. — Siskiyou County just declared its fire season, but fire officials say Oregon still has a few more weeks to go.
Fire danger is still in the slight to moderate risk category in Oregon. Last year fire season kicked off on June 3. It typically does not start until mid-June. There are two main factors when it comes to determining the start of fire season, according to ODF Fire Specialist, Brian Ballou.
The first is scientific monitoring of the moisture in trees and branches. When fire crews start to see the moisture levels decrease, this means plants are drying out and becoming more prone to wildfires.
The second is how many fires ODF responds too. According to Ballou, this was not a busy spring, but that does not mean it will not be a busy summer. It all depends on the weather. Long stretches of hot, dry weather can cause grass and plants to dry out, making perfect kindling for wildfires.
ODF said California normally sees a longer wildfire season, and it’s not unusual for their season to start this early.