With conditions drier than normal for this time of year, the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Western Lane, South Cascade and West Oregon districts will enter fire season at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, June 16. This applies to ODF-protected lands in Benton, Linn, Lincoln, Polk, and Lane counties, the southern portion of Yamhill County and the northern portion of Douglas County. Separately, Linn, Benton and Lane counties traditionally impose a burn ban beginning June 16 each year. In all counties, the burning of backyard debris is prohibited during fire season.
“With our current fuel moistures, conditions are what we typically see in early to mid-July. All signs are pointing to a busy fire season as we progress further into the year,” said West Oregon District Forester Michael Curran. “The majority of our fire starts in the southern Willamette Valley are human caused, and we urge the public to be aware of Public Use Restrictions,” Curran said. The public can find information on use restrictions on ODF’s interactive map, social media, or by contacting their local ODF office.
Benton County Fire Defense Board Chief Rick Smith said, “We hope the public has an increased awareness of wildfires.” He recommends that landowners “Create defensible space around your property by removing dead vegetation, keeping grass and brush mowed short, and landscape plants green and well-watered. It can make the difference between losing and saving a structure in the event of a wildfire.”
For updates on fire danger levels, call the South Cascade Office (eastern Lane & Linn Counties) at 541-726-3588, ext. 1, the Western Lane Office (Includes northern Douglas County) at 541-935-2222, or the West Oregon Office (Benton, Polk, Lincoln & southern Yamhill Counties) at 541-929-6300.