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Multi-Agency Campaign Highlights Human-Caused Wildfires

Oregon Department of Forestry
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Oregon’s Office of Emergency Management is collaborating with other state agencies to further raise fire prevention awareness.  KLCC’s Brian Bull reports the goal is to reduce human-caused fires.

ORdeptOfForestry.jpg
Credit Oregon Department of Forestry
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228,000 acres burned last year in Oregon, from fires that were caused by people. Officials hope 2018 isn’t a repeat of that damage.

Campfires can create wildfires if left unattended or improperly extinguished.
Credit Steve Lyon / Flickr.com
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Flickr.com
Campfires can create wildfires if left unattended or improperly extinguished.

Paula Negele of the state Emergency Management Office says it’s a far worse year for wildfires.  

The Oregon Forestry Department responded to 30 human-caused blazes in the previous week alone.

“Because of the extremely dry conditions, and a lot of dry grass, that a spark from a car, a dragging chain, low tire pressure, where maybe the rims are hitting the concrete or the pavement, that kind of activity can be something that starts a wildfire,” she says. 

The gist that many state forest, safety, and travel agencies want to convey is that even simple activities such as making a campfire or mowing a lawn can spark disaster, if people aren’t attentive to the risks.

Copyright 2018, KLCC. 

Copyright 2018 KLCC

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. He is a 20-year reporter who has worked at NPR, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including three Edward R. Murrow Awards and the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award in 2012.