WHITE CITY, Ore. -- Oregon Department of Forestry officials said fire season will begin June 1st. If you haven't already, fire crews told NewsWatch12 now is the time to prepare your yard to prevent a fire near you.
Warm, sunny days are drying out land, which creates ideal conditions for a grass fire.
Fire District 3's Public Information Officer, Ashley Blakely, said, "A lot of people right now are looking towards wildfire season as it is getting warmer to try to prepare their homes and make it safer in the event of wildfire this year."
If you need to clean up the debris in your yard, you can burn it before fire season begins.
"If you are concerned or uneasy about burning we would request just don't, if you're uncomfortable at all, just don't burn there's other options in place as well," Blakely said.
Debris can be put in a wood chipper or taken to Biomass, where they will take care of it for you. If you do choose to burn, it's important to check restrictions first.
"We really stress to our residents to make sure they do know what restrictions are and that they're doing it safely," Blakely said.
- Throughout Jackson County when the Ventilation Index (VI)* is inadequate or when there are fire danger risks (e.g.,high winds).
- Within the Air Quality Maintenance Area during November, December, January and February.Within the city limits of Medford, Jacksonville, Phoenix, and Talent.
- The VI is the National Weather Service's indicator of the relative degree of air circulation for a specified area and time period. Basically, it is a measurement of the air's ability to "clean" itself.
NOTE: NO OPEN/BARREL BURNING IS ALLOWED IN JACKSON COUNTY DURING FIRE SEASON.
Burning of the following are prohibited:
Household garbage, plastic, wire insulation, automobile parts, asphalt, petroleum products or treated materials, rubber, asbestos, animal remains, animal or vegetable matter resulting from the handling, preparation, cooking or service of food, any material which emits dense smoke or noxious odors.
Call the numbers below for questions:
• Ventilation Index & Fire Season Information 541-776-7007 (Call to check if it is a burn day or not)
• DEQ Air Quality Maintenance Area Information 541-774-8207 (Call to check if you are inside or outside the Air Quality Maintenance Area)
• Jackson County Fire District 3 541-826-7100 or visit www.jcfd3.com(Call if you have any further questions)
Following restrictions prevents a burn from getting out of control.
Blakely told NewsWatch12, "90% of fires are human-caused in our state so that's a significant amount of human-caused fires that may be a burn pile or maybe fireworks, maybe someone starting a fire, so we can eliminate a lot of those human-caused fires so we can focus on natural fires, which is obviously lightning."
As we continue to progress through this month, we will keep you updated on whether or not ODF decides to start fire season earlier than June 1st. The date fire season begins will determine how much longer you can burn the debris in your yard.