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Weekend fires show holiday weekend’s higher fire risk, according to ODF

The Oregon Department of Forestry is warning that this past weekend’s fires show that fire danger is increasing.

Posted: May 31, 2021 5:54 AM

OREGON – The Oregon Department of Forestry is warning that this past weekend’s fires show that fire danger is increasing.

Besides Jackson County’s Saturday wildfire, Rural Metro Fire reported a structure fire that spread to a Josephine County home Saturday.

“It’s time for everyone to put their Smokey hat on,” said Tom Fields, Oregon Department of Forestry’s fire prevention coordinator. “The continued drought and unseasonably warm weather we’re facing could lead to unintentional wildfires.”

Before the weekend started, Fields said ODF firefighters already had been busy this year with 267 fires burning more 1,900 acres, more than twice the 10-year average for number of fires.

Fire crews on patrol have also extinguished about a dozen abandoned campfires.

“The last thing anyone wants is to have their holiday weekend ruined by not putting out their campfire,” Fields said.

Fields reiterated that people should follow well-known fire prevention tips listed below:

• Before camping, always contact the forest district, agency or landowner first for any campfire restrictions where you plan to recreate.

• Have water and fire tools: take a shovel and a bucket of water to extinguish any escaped embers. When ready to leave, drown all embers with water, stir the coals, and drown again. Repeat these steps until the fire is DEAD out. If it is too hot to touch, it is too hot to leave.

• Select the right spot. Where campfires are allowed, choose a site with an existing ring. Fire pits in established campgrounds are the best spots. If you choose to build a campfire, avoid building it near your tent, structures, vehicles, shrubs or trees, and be aware of low-hanging branches overhead. Clear the site down to bare soil, at least five feet on all sides, and circle it with rocks. Store unused firewood away from the fire.

• Keep your campfire small. A small campfire is less likely to escape control. Add firewood in small amounts as existing material is consumed.

• Attend your campfire at all times. A campfire left unattended for even a few minutes can grow into a costly, damaging wildfire. Stay with your campfire from start to finish until it is dead out, as required by law.

• Consider alternatives to a campfire this summer. Portable camp stoves are a safer option to campfires at any time of year. Areas that prohibit campfires outside maintained campgrounds with established fire pits often allow camp stoves.

• Never use gasoline or other accelerants: don’t use flammable or combustible liquids, such as gasoline, propane or lighter fluid, to start or increase your campfire.

• Burn ONLY local wood: hauling firewood to a remote campground can transport invasive species. State regulations prohibit open burning of any other material that creates dense, toxic smoke or noxious odors.

State and federal law also require the proper clearing, building, attending and extinguishing of open fires at any time of year.

May is Wildfire Awareness Month, and though the month is near its end, fire awareness is an ongoing priority for Southern Oregon and Northern California.

Visit www.keeporegongreen.org for more wildfire prevention information.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 345344

Reported Deaths: 4084
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah54651678
Washington37724310
Marion35705439
Clackamas28835298
Lane26661291
Jackson22465297
Deschutes19252122
Umatilla14081139
Linn12200114
Douglas11664238
Josephine9174191
Yamhill8438108
Klamath7549106
Polk707380
Malheur542374
Benton521531
Coos481591
Columbia368143
Jefferson355650
Union309944
Lincoln306033
Wasco275839
Crook263643
Clatsop238027
Baker195628
Tillamook191926
Hood River186036
Morrow180223
Curry177019
Harney106424
Grant96512
Lake86910
Wallowa65712
Gilliam1484
Sherman1453
Wheeler941
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4802761

Reported Deaths: 70456
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles147341026379
Riverside3689534978
San Diego3631694151
San Bernardino3558485562
Orange3224975513
Sacramento1574982273
Santa Clara1443001886
Fresno1437452048
Kern1437161600
Alameda1197741365
San Joaquin1016431696
Ventura1004421162
Contra Costa99102969
Stanislaus849231310
Tulare78753945
San Francisco53974644
San Mateo53781618
Monterey50676582
Solano45734334
Santa Barbara44770518
Merced41680577
Sonoma40638400
Placer38813412
Imperial35591762
Kings32197312
San Luis Obispo29590330
Madera23420281
Butte23298257
Shasta23230334
Santa Cruz20830217
Yolo20092247
Marin17570243
El Dorado16947149
Sutter13762169
Napa12797100
Yuba992780
Tehama9240103
Humboldt9085108
Nevada902590
Mendocino751686
Lassen743743
San Benito735972
Tuolumne671793
Lake6499103
Amador536763
Siskiyou442742
Glenn429930
Calaveras380279
Del Norte355739
Colusa301618
Inyo194239
Mono16285
Plumas15476
Mariposa126215
Trinity85811
Modoc6678
Sierra1710
Unassigned1480
Alpine1020
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