Fire Season officially begins Friday in Jackson and Josephine counties

The Oregon Department of Forestry says the southwest district will be going into fire season on Friday, May 1st. Public Use Restrictions will go into effect district wide.

Posted: Apr 29, 2020 9:30 AM
Updated: Apr 29, 2020 6:20 PM

MEDFORD, Ore. -- Fire Season officially begins on Friday for the Southwest Oregon District covering Jackson and Josephine counties, according to the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF). The agency first announced the change on Tuesday.

The announcement means an end to open burning on ODF-protected lands in both counties as fire danger restrictions begin.

"You will find that a lot of the departments are very much in favor of this," said Austin Prince from Rural Metro Fire. "Timing is always a question as to whether or not it is the right one. There might be some rain that comes in the next couple of days or whatever. Ultimately in the bigger picture, we are seeing that ODF is concerned about chasing down these fires like the one in Rogue River the other day."

Last year, Fire Season didn't begin until June 1, which is more typical in southwest Oregon.

"Most of the wildfires that ODF has responded to this month were caused by open burning," ODF said. "The district tallied 34 fires that burned 32 acres in the month of April."


RELATED: Oregon reports almost three times as many fires than normal so far in 2020


Starting May 1, the Fire Danger Level will be Low (green) and the Industrial Fire Precaution Level will be one. On top of an end to open burning, the following fire prevention regulations go into effect on Friday:

  • The use of tracer ammunition and exploding targets, which are disallowed on all lands at all times;
  • The use of fireworks;
  • Smoking in areas with dry vegetation;
  • Campfires, except in designated campgrounds and on private lands with the landowner’s permission;
  • The use of electric fence controllers must be in accordance with manufacturers’ instructions for grounding and vegetation clearance.

"In addition to unusual seasonal dryness this year, drought conditions have recurred over much of the West," ODF said. "Rainfall amounts in the Rogue Basin are several inches lower than normal, and the extended forecast for fire season conditions calls for continued below-normal precipitation and above-normal temperatures."

ODF's Southwest Oregon District covers 1.8 million acres of private, state, county and Bureau of Land Management wildlands in Jackson and Josephine counties. For questions about open burning and wildland fire protection regulations, you can call the district office at 541-664-3328.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 195684

Reported Deaths: 2587
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah38714593
Washington25787233
Marion22229308
Clackamas17677214
Lane13128149
Jackson10953140
Deschutes918074
Umatilla823684
Linn501768
Klamath450664
Yamhill449676
Polk378853
Malheur353063
Josephine337071
Douglas329871
Benton312720
Jefferson222037
Coos208935
Columbia175929
Union145123
Lincoln138821
Wasco138128
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Crook113822
Morrow111116
Clatsop9948
Baker95914
Tillamook6523
Curry64610
Grant5236
Lake4557
Harney3488
Wallowa1855
Gilliam631
Sherman581
Wheeler321
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CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles123741124115
Riverside2997934594
San Bernardino2971654724
San Diego2790983742
Orange2712515031
Santa Clara1190602096
Kern1092981376
Sacramento1049581691
Fresno1019571690
Alameda881481668
Ventura810331017
San Joaquin733101394
Contra Costa68976805
Stanislaus622491061
Tulare49830840
Monterey43662383
San Mateo42059570
San Francisco36795546
Santa Barbara34391459
Solano32974253
Merced31919461
Sonoma30067321
Imperial28504729
Kings23017246
Placer22688292
San Luis Obispo21308260
Madera16482242
Santa Cruz16264206
Marin14079227
Yolo13932211
Shasta12175226
Butte12095192
El Dorado10193113
Napa988782
Sutter9441113
Yuba628549
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Glenn240025
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Calaveras213654
Inyo142838
Del Norte13988
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