Preventing Human-Start Fires This Summer
Contributed by our partners at Project Wildfire
Thanks to an unfortunately warm and dry spring, Central Oregon's summer temperatures are predicted to be hotter and drier than previous conditions. While wildfire season may be off to a slow start, that doesn’t mean we’re in the clear, yet.
The bulk of fire activity generally occurs during July and August, and even though Mother Nature certainly plays her part with naturally occurring fires, the amount of human-caused fires continues to dramatically increase each year.
To date, there have been 83 human-caused fires in Central Oregon since the beginning of the year. The impact of human-started fires is even more notable when compared to the meager 24 lightning-started fires this year.
Our local fire agencies have declared that we are now in extreme fire conditions. Being prepared for fire season with defensible space around your home and creating a clear evacuation plan is vitally important for Central Oregon residents, but before there’s smoke on the horizon, we need to remain vigilant at preventing human-start fires.
Residents and visitors can prevent human-start fires by abiding by all regulated use closures during fire season on both public and private lands. These regulated use closures can include:
- Check local restrictions before starting a campfire to be certain campfires are allowed. https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/deschutes/home/?cid=stelprdb5297376
- Fully extinguish campfires before leaving. If it’s too hot to touch, it’s too hot to leave.
- Do not burn debris during fire season.
- Shut down chainsaws and other power tools by 1 pm.
- Avoid parking hot vehicles on dry grasses.
- Check trailer chains to ensure they are not dragging on the road, which could cause sparks.
- Do not use tracer ammunition or exploding targets.
- Carry fire tools and a fire extinguisher when traveling in the forest.
Ultimately, fire preparedness and fire prevention are up to each resident and visitor of central Oregon. By doing our part to prevent wildfires on public and private lands, we ensure the safety and efficiency of our firefighters. That is something worth fighting for.