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Fire Season Officially Over In Oregon

US Forest Service
The Gopher Fire burned in the Sky Lakes Wilderness of Southern Oregon.

The fire season is over in Oregon starting in October — at least officially.

Jackson and Josephine counties were the last in the state to have fire restrictions in place. Those restrictions, including burning debris piles and using industrial machinery, will be lifted first thing Tuesday morning.

The declaration signifies that state and local fire agencies don’t expect major wildfires to flare up this fall.

All told, this year was mild compared to previous years.

“We didn't have as many days that were in high fire danger,” Grants Pass Fire Marshall Joe Hyatt says. “During the days that we did have [high fire weather], the public was more accountable this year. We didn't see as many human-caused fires.”

This year’s fire season lasted 122 days, compared to last year’s 151 days. This year saw 16,868 acres burn in Oregon Department of Forestry land, compared to 846,411 acres burned last year.

While wildfire season may be over, Hyatt says he’ll stay busy preparing people for next year.

“We’ll continue to work with folks in the winter months to reduce the hazardous fuels around their homes, try trying to make communities safer, and always doing public education about how landowners can be better stewards,” Hyatt says.

Hyatt adds that the city is focusing on developing evacuation plans too, so if a wildfire were to break out next year, firefighters can easily get into neighborhoods and residents can safely get out.

April Ehrlich is an editor and reporter at Oregon Public Broadcasting. Previously, she was a news host and reporter at Jefferson Public Radio.