Fire season ended at last in most of Southern Oregon.
The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) dropped the fire danger to LOW at the stroke of midnight on Tuesday, September 24th.
The decision follows several days of rain, and affects state-protected lands in Jackson and Josephine Counties. The declaration includes a lifting of all public and industrial fire prevention regulations put into place during fire season.
And what a season it was. ODF crews responded to 330 fires since last spring, 126 of them caused by lightning. Those include the giant Big Windy and Douglas complexes, both ignited by lightning strikes in a pre-dawn storm on July 26th. Those fire complexes and several others ignited by the same storm burned thousands of acres of wild land and clogged Western Oregon valleys with smoke for days at a time.
The end of fire season does not mean the end of warm and sunny weather--more is forecast. ODF urges people to use caution when burning debris this fall; many fire districts require permits before any burning is allowed.