This week, both the Douglas Forest Protective Association and the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Southwest Oregon District announced a rise in the Industrial Fire Precaution Level in their jurisdictions due to hot, dry conditions in the forest. A map charting significant fire potential (http://nfdrs.smkmgt.com/sfp/ODF_Significant_Fire_Potential.htm) shows most of the state at “high,” with the southwest corner registering “extreme.” Lands in either classification can spawn a large, destructive fire.
The potential for dry lightning – the cause of Oregon’s largest fires - historically diminishes in late summer. As the threat from Nature recedes, though, human activity comes to the fore as the chief wildfire concern. Forest fuels are still bone-dry and primed to burn. If we take extra care when recreating or working in the forest, human-caused fires can be prevented.
The Keep Oregon Green Association (www.keeporegongreen.org/) offers common-sense advice on how to prevent fires when camping and recreating in the forest.