News, Oregon, wildfire

Fire season begins statewide

With the Northwest Oregon district entering fire season early Monday morning, all of the state’s Oregon Department of Forestry districts are now officially in fire season. 

Thanks to late season rains, much of the state entered fire season far later than 2021, but that’s no reason to lose vigilance in the face of increasingly intense wildfire seasons in the state. 

“Don’t be lulled into complacency because of the weather,” said Mike Shaw, Fire Protection Division Chief. “July and August historically have higher fire activity, and ODF is ready to respond, but we need the cooperation of Oregonians so we don’t strain our resources on fires that could have been avoided.”

The spring rains have caused significant growth in “ground fuels” like grass, and now fire officials are concerned that as the summer heat grows, these fuels will dry out, creating explosive conditions for wildfire.

“Those ground fuels will be able to catch fire easily and will then burn and spread quickly,” a press release from ODF read. 

The state agency, Oregon’s largest firefighting agency, advised the following:

– Make sure your campfire is cool to the touch before going to sleep or leaving your site. Don’t forget to Drown, Stir, Repeat.

– Go back and check on your debris burn site to make sure nothing reignites due to the heat.

– Don’t park your car over dried grass and make sure it is regularly maintained in order to reduce the risk of sparks.

– Don’t flick a cigarette onto the ground. It may be just enough to start a grass fire.

– Check local restrictions and fire danger levels.

ODF firefighters protect more than 16 million acres of land across the state, comprising private, county, state and federal land, or about 25% of the state’s landmass. 

June 1 saw the Southwest Oregon district be the first ODF district to declare fire season this year. 

More information on wildfire prevention can be found at

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Chas Hundley is the editor of the Banks Post and sister news publications the Gales Creek Journal and the Salmonberry Magazine. He grew up in Gales Creek and has a cat.

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