With fire conditions and behaviors typically seen in mid-to-late July currently taking place, forest managers in northeast Oregon are declaring an early start to the 2021 fire season. The announcement was made on Tuesday (6-8-21), as Oregon Department of Forestry firefighters worked to contain two wildfires ignited by lighting in the region.
The Oregon fire season officially began at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday (6-9-21) for approximately 2 million acres of forest and range lands protected by the department. That means debris burning is prohibited, burn permits will not be issued for burn barrels or open burning, and logging and other industrial operations must have water supplies ready to extinguish any fires.
Joe Hessel, the Oregon Department of Forestry’s district forester for northeast Oregon, said conditions are atypical for this time of year. Hessel went onto say that, “In a normal season, we would have experienced spring moisture which typically delays the start of fire season until later in June. This season, significant amounts of moisture have been absent.”
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Fire Season declaration comes early in northeast Oregon