The Oregon Department of Forestry’s Southwest Oregon District has been picking up a few fires lately. Most of them have been caused by campfires and burn piles that were not completely extinguished. During this dry spring, it is extra important to make sure any fire you start, whether it is a burn pile of tree branches or a campfire, is completely out before nightfall.
Use water to wet the coals, turn the coals with a shovel, break up chunks of burned wood with the point of the shovel, then add more water and stir the coals until the burned material is cool to the touch.
The extraordinary early season dryness of southwest Oregon’s wildlands has made it particularly important to ensure all fires are dead out. Fires are penetrating deeper into the ground this year than is normal for April. The deeper coals are allowed to penetrate below ground makes them harder to extinguish. A light breeze on a hot day can cause glowing coals to throw sparks into nearby vegetation, resulting in a wildfire.
Please do your part to prevent wildfires in southwest Oregon.