Fire season ends today on Oregon Department of Forestry-protected lands in southwest Oregon. Rainfall of at least one-half inch was recorded in many parts of the district, which includes state, private, county, city and Bureau of Land Management forestlands in Jackson and Josephine counties.
Fire season started June 2 and lasted 136 days.
The termination of fire season removes fire prevention regulations on equipment use and the use of fire for debris burning. This applies to the public and to industrial operations on forestlands. However, many structural fire protection districts require permits for debris burning, and both Jackson and Josephine counties have telephone numbers to call to find out whether air quality conditions allow burning. The numbers to call are:
- Josephine County: (541) 476-9663
- Jackson County: (541) 776-7007
More than 280 fires burned 9,559 acres on forestlands protected by ODF’s Southwest Oregon District. There are 1.8 million acres of forestland within the district’s protection boundary in Jackson and Josephine counties.
The largest blaze on the district was the Oregon Gulch Fire, which burned 35,129 acres of forestland in Jackson and Klamath counties, and Northern California. The Jackson County portion of the fire burned 8,306 acres, approximately 14 miles southeast of Ashland. The Oregon Gulch Fire was reported July 30 and was one fire in a complex of 23 other lightning-caused fires scattered around Jackson County.
The Salt Creek Fire, which also started July 30, burned 155 acres of forestland approximately 8 miles west of Shady Cove.
Lightning started 98 fires on the district and burned 9,071 acres. The thunderstorms hit July 11, July 22, July 29-30, August 11 and August 18.
The earliest fire on the district this year was the 143-acre Alder Creek Fire, which started January 23 during a period of unusual dryness and strong east winds. A fire that had been set to burn slash escaped control and started the Alder Creek Fire.
The 2014 fire season was similar to the summer of 2013, during which 348 fires burned 43,078 acres on lands protected by the Southwest Oregon District. Lightning-caused fires that year burned more than 42,000 acres.
For more information about the Oregon Department of Forestry’s fire season regulations, contact the unit office in your area:
- Medford Unit, 5286 Table Rock Rd., Central Point. Phone: (541) 664-3328
- Grants Pass Unit, 5375 Monument Drive, Grants Pass. Phone: (541) 474-3152