MEDFORD, Ore. -- The Oregon Department of Forestry says fire season will begin Friday, May 1st at 12:01 a.m. for the ODF Southwest District. This is a month earlier than normal for the start of fire season. According to the Medford Fire Department, the call was made to help curb a recent increase in human caused fires. Also, severe to extreme drought conditions exist throughout the entire district. Despite forecast rain, it will likely not be enough for long term relief heading into the warmer and drier months.
With the start of fire season, Public Use Restrictions will go into effect and are regulated by the fire danger level. This is in addition to fire season prohibitions. All backyard burning will be prohibited, and no burn permits will be issued.
The Industrial Fire Precaution Level will be at a Level 1. The fire danger in southwest Oregon will remain LOW.
ODF plans to release more information on Wednesday. Stay with NewsWatch 12 for more updates.