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Oregon fire season officially underway

Western Wildfires
Posted at 2:55 PM, Jul 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-12 16:55:42-04

PORTLAND, Ore.  — The Oregon Department of Forestry said Monday that all of its fire districts, which combined cover about 16 million acres (6.47 million hectares), are officially in wildfire season.

Heavy rainfall stalled the start of the season for parts of the state. But with drier, hotter conditions here or forecast statewide, fire officials are urging Oregonians to take steps to prevent blazes, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported.

The official start of fire season means people can expect public use restrictions such as campfire bans where fire danger is high, said Jessica Prakke, public affairs officer with the Oregon Department of Forestry.

The Department of Forestry recommends drowning campfires, monitoring debris piles, not parking cars on dry grass and properly disposing of cigarettes. The fewer human-caused fires on the landscape, Prakke added, the more resources fire officials can devote to other blazes.

The latest fire season outlook from the National Interagency Fire Center shows the highest fire risk in Central and Southern Oregon from the Columbia River down to the California border as well as Southeast Oregon for July.

The Willowcreek Fire north of Ontario near Idaho has been the largest fire in Oregon this year, burning more than 40,000 acres (16,187 hectares) of rangeland in a few days.