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Wildfire season's slow start doesn't mean fire danger is gone, experts say

While we are seeing a slow start to wildfire season, experts say we're not out the woods yet.

Posted: Jul 16, 2019 6:57 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- While we are seeing a slow start to wildfire season, experts say we're not out the woods yet.

Kyle Reed with the Douglas Forest Protective Association said by this time last year, more than 500 wildfires were burning 40,000 acres across the state. So far this year just over 400 fires have burned 1,400 acres. He said the drop in fires is due to wetter weather and fewer lighting strikes.

"Last year we had 152 fires at this point just caused from lighting, so that's one of the bigger factors of why those numbers are down this year," Reed said.

But Reed said peak fire season in Oregon doesn't start till late July or early August, and there is a lot of summer left.

Marcus Kauffman with the Oregon Department of Forestry said they are using the slower start to the season to train seasonal firefighters. He said it will only take a few hot and dry days to push Lane County into the high fire danger category.

"The time when fires really start to run on us, those are just around the corner in the future," Kauffman said.

Officials are asking the public to obey all fire restrictions that are in place to avoid sparking up fires.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 21010

Reported Deaths: 355
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah484994
Washington304725
Marion288370
Umatilla225128
Clackamas152340
Malheur76814
Deschutes59610
Lane5793
Jackson4612
Yamhill45013
Lincoln4149
Union3942
Jefferson3554
Morrow3543
Polk31312
Linn27710
Klamath2012
Wasco1893
Hood River1840
Benton1696
Douglas1501
Josephine1142
Columbia940
Coos910
Clatsop850
Crook471
Baker380
Tillamook340
Lake320
Wallowa191
Sherman160
Curry150
Harney100
Gilliam40
Grant40
Unassigned00
Wheeler00
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