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The fire season in the region begins July 1

On July 1 at 1 a.m., fire season will begin on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry within the Northwest Oregon Forest Protective Association (NWOFPA), which includes areas located inland and near Tillamook State Forest.

“At the same time, we will be entering into our public use restrictions,” Mike Cafferata, ODF’s Forest Grove district forester, said in an email sent Thursday afternoon to loggers and landowners.

“Fire outbreaks have been low, but they are increasing,” he added. “So far, we have had two target practice fires in the association, as well as several debris fires that have spread from the intended area.”

Last year, the fire season started on June 14 and ended on October 1.

In an email sent Monday, Cafferata said entering fire season before Independence Day allows forest officials to ban fireworks on their territory and hold violators for responsible if they start a fire. In preparation for what is expected to be a fairly mild fire season, Cafferata said preparations are underway ahead of the fire season.

“Our fire crews are hired and undergo intensive training. This week, many of them are at Sweet Home, at the fire academy, taking basic and advanced classes,” he said.

The NWOFPA region includes much of the Gales Creek, Buxton, Timber, Manning, and Tillamook State Forest areas, among others. It extends north to the Columbia River, west to the Pacific Ocean, south to Sheridan, and east to parts of Gales Creek, the Killin Wetlands in outside Banks and up to Scappoose.

Public and industrial users of local forests can stay informed of current fire restrictions by visiting the agency's Fire Restrictions & Closures website or by calling their local ODF office or conservation association, in this case the Forest Grove ODF office for most of our readers at 503-357-2191.

Landowners and forestry operators can also call their local ODF district for a firefighting equipment inspection. Although the Oregon Department of Forestry has its own firefighting staff, the agency is bolstered by agreements with individual logging crews who maintain their own firefighting equipment and assist in fight forest fires throughout the season.

“Our management foresters have carried out pre-season checks and are available to help,” Mr Cafferata said. “Please don't hesitate to contact them if you would like them to check your firefighting equipment. Additionally, if you have equipment to help fight fires, contact them to sign an agreement before the season. This will make it easier to work on fires and get you paid quickly afterwards. »

Sign up for SMS alerts

Sign up for text alerts for real-time fire season information in the Forest Grove, Tillamook and Astoria ODF districts by texting “NWOA” to 877-274-4067.


Chas Hundley is the editor of the Banks Post and sister news publications, the Gales Creek Journal and Salmonberry Magazine. He grew up in Gales Creek and has a cat.

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