Fire Season Begins June 1 in Jackson and Josephine Counties

Fire Season on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) Southwest Oregon District begins Thursday, June 1, 2023 at 12:01 a.m. The fire danger level will be “Low” (green) and the Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) will be I (one).

Lands affected by this declaration include 1.8 million acres of state, private, county, city and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) forestlands in Jackson and Josephine counties.

Consistent rain and snow allowed for a fairly fire-free spring in southern Oregon up until early May, when a rapid shift in weather patterns took place and temperatures rose from forties and mid-fifties to a range fluctuating between sixties and nineties. The hot weather in combination with windy conditions prompted the spread of numerous accidental human-caused fires.

Thunderstorms later in the month also contributed to fire starts, resulting in 14 fires, three caused by lightning and 11 caused by humans.

Beginning Thursday, the burning of debris piles and the use of burn barrels for burning debris will no longer be allowed in Jackson and Josephine counties. Even with recent rains, landowners are encouraged to check their previously burned piles from this spring and confirm that they have been extinguished.

In low fire danger, the following activities are prohibited:

No debris burning, including piles and debris burned in burn barrels.

No fireworks on or within 1/8 of a mile of ODF-protected land.

Exploding targets and tracer ammunition, or any bullet with a pyrotechnic charge in its base, are prohibited.

Campfires are allowed in designated campgrounds, and on private land with the landowner’s permission. Portable stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels may be used in areas clear of vegetation at any time.

Smoking while traveling will only be allowed in enclosed vehicles on improved roads, in boats on the water and other specifically designated locations.

Any electric fence controllers must be approved by a nationally recognized testing laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories Inc., or be certified by the Department of Consumer and Business Services and be installed and used in compliance with the fence controller’s instructions for fire-safe operation.

Under IFPL I (one) – fire season requirements are in effect. In addition to the following:

• A Firewatch is required at this and all higher levels unless otherwise waived.

For more information about the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Fire Season regulations, please call or visit the Southwest Oregon District unit office nearest to you:

Medford Unit, 5286 Table Rock Rd., Central Point- (541) 664-3328

Grants Pass Unit, 5375 Monument Dr., Grants Pass- (541) 474-3152

Additional information about fire season is also available online on the ODF website,

Source: ODF

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