Friday, June 27, 2014

Use Fireworks with Care

The Fourth of July, Independence Day, is a week away and southwest Oregon residents will soon be celebrating with the bangs, booms and crackles of fireworks. It is also time for caution. Fireworks can cause wildfires if not used sensibly and legally.

Never use fireworks in areas where there is flammable vegetation, and there's plenty of it Jackson and Josephine counties' wildlands and forests. A lit sparkler carried by a child running through dry grass will set the grass on fire. Guaranteed. Sparks can ignite dry brush -- blackberries, manzanita and buckbrush -- which can quickly escalate into a dangerous wildfire.

Because fireworks are not allowed in Oregon's forests and wildlands during fire season -- or at any time in state and county parks and campgrounds, national forests and parks, and in the Wild and Scenic Section of the Rogue River -- a wildfire caused by fireworks can result in a citation or a bill for the fire suppression costs. And parents are financially responsible for wildfires caused by their children.

Use fireworks at home in a fire-safe area, such as a concrete driveway, a green lawn or a large patch of bare earth. Have a charged garden hose or a bucket of water at the site where fireworks will be used. Supervise children using fireworks. If a fire starts that you cannot control, call 9-1-1 immediately.

For tips on using fireworks safely, see the websites hosted by the Rogue Valley Fire Prevention Cooperative and the Oregon State Fire Marshal.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Despite the Rain, No Burning is Allowed in SW Oregon

Rain across the Southwest Oregon District on Wednesday brought a few puffs of smoke as some people lit burn piles, which attracted fire engines from ODF and the rural fire districts. Despite the rain, fire season regulations remain in effect and no burning is allowed in the district, which includes private lands in Jackson and Josephine counties.

The rain was nice (see graphic illustrating the 24-hour rainfall between Wednesday morning and this morning), and cooler temperatures and a chance of showers will linger into Saturday. But hot weather is scheduled to return on Monday, at which time the rain will be little more than a memory. Please hold off on burning debris until the end of fire season.

Monday, June 23, 2014

New Pocket Card and Fire Stats

Good Morning,

With continued hot and dry weather fire danger will stay at high. Our indices are trending upwards and setting new daily records. For the latest information please view this weeks pocket card and stat sheet.