July 6, 2020 3:35 a.m.

Fire season is officially in effect on all Oregon Department of Forestry protected lands.

The North Cascade and the West Oregon protection districts are the last two to declare fire season. ODF’s Southwest Oregon District was the first to declare fire season on May 1st.

An ODF release said fire season is declared based on conditions at the local district level, with restrictions intended to help prevent human caused wildfires. Fire season generally runs through mid-October and ends based on local conditions.

For residents within ODF’s 12 fire protection districts, the start of fire season means the end of unregulated outdoor debris burning which is a leading cause of wildfires. The release said while permits to burn may be issued in some areas, debris burning is generally prohibited throughout the summer due to increased wildfire risk. Violators burning without a permit, will be cited and held liable for fire suppression costs.

The release said other public use fire restrictions are also in effect in several areas. The use of fireworks, tracer ammunition and exploding targets are illegal within ODF protection boundaries, as well as other state and federal lands. Campfires, the mowing of dry, cured grass, cutting and welding, power saw use and other spark-emitting activities are regulated at the local level, depending on the conditions and fire danger. During low fire danger, mowing may be allowed all day but during moderate, high and extreme high fire danger, mowing may be restricted to early morning or prohibited entirely until conditions improve.

The public is encouraged to stay informed of current fire restrictions by visiting: https://www.oregon.gov/ODF/Fire/Pages/Restrictions.aspx or by checking with their local ODF or protective association office. To learn more about preventing human-caused wildfires, go to www.keeporegongreen.org.

The Oregon Department of Forestry protects over 16 million acres of private, county state, and federal land.