Fire season kicks off early in Douglas County

Fire season kicks off early in Douglas County »Play Video
Photos courtesy: Kyle Reed, DFPA

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ore. -- Dozens of fires have raged throughout Douglas County, forcing the Douglas Forest Protective Association to start fire season early this year.

DFPA officials announced Monday that fire season will officially begin Wednesday morning.

That means the end of unregulated outside debris burning for rural residents, as well as Industrial Fire Precaution Level 1 on all lands. "We're doing this for several reasons, both because of the weather forecast, dry, hot conditions that are forecasted, but also because the number of fires we've had is way above normal for this time of year," said Kyle Reed of the DFPA.

So far, Oregon has seen more than double the average number of fires and acres burned for this time of year.

If you're hoping to get your burning in before the season starts, officials urge you to use caution.

The Umpqua National Forest has already entered into IFPL 1.

You can read their news release below:

ROSEBURG, OR – The Umpqua National Forest announced today that the entire forest has entered into Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) I.
This requires industrial operators working on the Umpqua National Forest to have fire equipment at the site of their operation and a fire watch service unless waived or modified in writing by a forest officer.
Firewood cutters must have an 8-oz. fire extinguisher and a shovel.
Power saws must be equipped with an approved screen.
The Umpqua National Forest also requires that private firewood cutters remain in the area for one hour to watch for fires.
According to Dennis Darling, Fire Management Staff Officer for the Umpqua National Forest, there are no plans for any public use restrictions at this point.
Darling asks forest visitors to remain careful with campfires and to completely extinguish them before leaving the site.