BEND, OR -- The 2016 wildfire season was about average in Central Oregon. "Overall, there were 279 fires during fire season, for a total of almost 18,000 acres," says Jean Nelson Dean, of the Deschutes National Forest.
She tells KBND News nearly three-quarters of those were human caused. "This was definitely not a bad year. The strange thing about this year is that we didn’t have as many natural lightning starts that we normally have – that’s typically what we see. We actually had a lot of human-caused starts." Only 74 of the incidents within the Central Oregon Fire Management Service were lightning caused.
Within the Bend district of the Deschutes National Forest, there were 85 human-caused fires and 19 sparked by lightning. Those human-caused blazes include both intentional and accidental starts, like escaped campfires.
To hear our full conversation with Jean Nelson Dean, visit our Podcast page or click HERE.