2019 Fire Season Comes to an End
Fire officials with the Douglas Forest Protective Association will officially end fire season within the Douglas District on Monday, September 23rd, at 12:01 a.m. The end of fire season is a result of significant rainfall and an overall cooling trend which returned to the area. With the end of fire season, industrial fire restrictions on DFPA protected land will no longer be in effect. Backyard debris burning outside of incorporated cities will be allowed without a burn permit from DFPA once fire season ends, however, residents should contact their local fire department before conducting any type of debris burning as fire restrictions may vary between local fire districts. The only type of burning that requires a permit from DFPA outside of fire season is for the burning of logging slash. Any type of commercial tree harvest that requires excess debris to be burned constitutes logging slash and therefore requires a burn permit. Permits to burn logging slash can be obtained by calling DFPA at 541-672-6507. Despite fire season coming to an end, fire officials advise residents to exercise caution when burning or using fire in the woods. Several days of sunshine and dry weather during the fall months can create a fire risk even if a week or more of rainy, cool conditions precede them. When burning yard debris, make sure to have an adequate fire trail around the pile before ignition begins and have fire tools and a water supply at the burn site. Debris piles should never be left burning unattended and should be fully extinguished before leaving the area. If a debris burn escapes containment, the responsible party may be held financially responsible for the resulting fire suppression costs and associated damages. Despite fire season coming to an end, private industrial landowners and public land management agencies may still have fire restrictions in place on the lands they own or manage. Recreationalists should check with the appropriate landowner or public land management agency for the location they plan to recreate at, before heading to the woods. A list of fire restrictions for private industrial landowners can be found online at http://www.ofic.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/2019-OFIC-Closure-Form-1.pdf DFPA’s 2019 fire season began on June 11th and lasted 104 days, which ranks 5th in the Association’s 108 year history for the fewest days in a declared fire season. To date, firefighters have suppressed 101 fires which burned 13,445 acre within the Douglas District. Lightning sparked 34 wildfires that burned about 15 acres while 67 human caused fires scorched 13,430 acres, the largest of which was the Milepost 97 fire that was caused by an illegal campfire. The staff with the Douglas Forest Protective Association would like to thank everyone for their cooperation during the 2019 fire season.