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Cool, moist weather reduces fire restrictions in South Central Oregon

Evan Wise

Fire danger levels were lowered from High to Moderate in South Central Oregon on Monday, including in the Fremont Winema National Forest, the Klamath Basin and most of the Lakeview district.

Restrictions on campfires and chainsaw use were lifted. The change comes as cooler temperatures and more humidity reduce the chance of forest fires.

Jennifer Case, with the Oregon Department of Forestry, says that even though fire restrictions are being downgraded, Oregon is not out of fire season yet.

“We may not see a large growth of a fire right now but we will still see fire growth, especially with winds and dry grasses, dry brush, it's still going to take quite a bit of moisture, rain or snow to put us out of fire season,” says Case. “So we can still see some fires and it will be at landowners cost if a fire were to start.”

Despite the increased humidity, Case says, grasses and brush are still very dry in Oregon and it's still possible that a wildfire could ignite and spread.

Because fire season remains in effect, outdoor debris burning, releasing sky lanterns and discharge of exploding targets are still prohibited.

Sophia Prince is a reporter and producer for JPR News. She began as JPR’s 2021 summer intern through the Charles Snowden Program for Excellence in Journalism. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a BA in journalism and international studies.