BEND, OR -- Temperatures are cooling but Oregon’s Department of Forestry says it’s not ready to declare the end of fire season just yet. ODF’s Christie Shaw says public use restrictions also remain in Central Oregon because of the high fire danger, “There’s a lot of really dried, cured fuels out there from all summer long being hot and dry. So, by the time midday rolls around and that moisture from overnight has dried itself out with wind and temperatures, those fuels are really receptive to a fire.” That means a debris burn or warming fire could get out of control quickly, "And it just challenges us and it's unnecessary. So, we would just rather make sure that we don’t have to be chasing fire during the day and all day, and let folks focus on the fires that are on the landscape already. There’s a lot of firefighters and resources committed to those large fires that are in Oregon."
Shaw says a big concern is hunting season, “We see people out there camping and leaving campfires and leaving warming fires and so, if we open that up like, ‘yeah, you can do debris burning and you can do this,’ we just find that people aren’t conscientious. They think that once we say it’s not fire season anymore, then that fire risk is gone. So, we just really want people to be vigilant and mindful about the things that they do. It still is fire season, even though we’re in September.”
There may not be a so-called “season ending” rain event, but if temperatures stay cool and humidity rises long enough, ODF will start easing restrictions soon.