Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Fire Season Ends in Douglas County

The Douglas Forest ProtectiveAssociation has officially called an end to the 2013 fire season on September 25th, at noon.  This is the earliest end to fire season on the Douglas District since 1978.  The end of the 2013 fire season was a result of significant rainfall and an overall cooling trend which returned to the area.

The 2013 fire season, which started on May 15th, was a busy one for DFPA, as they suppressed 142 fires that burned 33,119 acres in Douglas County alone this year; well up from the 10 year average of 76 fires for 644 acres.  An additional 15,297 acres from the Douglas Complex burned onto the Southwest Oregon ODF District in Josephine County, bringing the total acreage of all DFPA fires up to 49,163 acres this year.

With the end of fire season, Industrial Fire Precaution Level restrictions are no longer in effect and backyard debris burning is now allowed without a permit outside incorporated cities.  In addition, campfires are now allowed with landowner permission.  Unattended campfires, a primary cause of wildfires, still have the potential of escaping.  All fires should be fully extinguished before leaving the scene.  Residents should contact their local fire department before conducting any burning as regulations vary between fire districts. 

Fire officials advise residents to exercise caution when burning or using fire in wildland areas. This time of year, several days of sunshine and dry weather can create a fire risk even if a week or more of rainy, cool conditions precedes them. When burning yard debris, make sure to have an adequate fire trail around the pile or incinerator and never leave the burn unattended.  Should a fire escape, the property owner may be financially responsible for damages and suppression costs.  The only type of burning requiring a permit is for logging slash and heavy debris disposal burning, which is required year round.  Any type of commercial tree harvesting that requires excess debris to be burned constitutes logging slash and therefore requires a permit to burn.

The Douglas Forest Protective Association would like to thank everyone for their cooperation in helping us throughout the devastating 2013 fire season.