It may be spring in Oregon, but wildfires are popping up like its summer. Last week as temperatures rose into the 70s and 80s, the Honeygrove Hobbit Fire on the West Oregon District burned 25 acres; a 10-acre fire burned in the woods west of Rogue River; a 6-acre fire burned in a forested area east of Prospect, and several other small fires broke out in both Jackson and Josephine counties.
No homes were threatened by the fires, but the blazes illustrated how easily wildfires are starting and spreading during this warm spell.
Meteorologist Jim Little with the Oregon Department of Forestry is concerned about the heat and relative humidity this coming weekend. â€œEastern Oregonâ€™s relative humidity will be in the teens, and the 100-hour fuel moisture in single digits.â€ 100-hour fuel represents the modeled moisture content of dead fuels in the 3 to 8 inch diameter class. The amount of moisture in fuel is the major element that will determine how much of the available fuel will burn. According to how much moisture is in the fuel, all will burn, only part will burn or, if wet enough, none will burn.
Oregonians are reminded that campfires must be drowned with water, stirred with a shovel, and drowned again, over and over, until the fire is dead out. Abandoned campfires became the number one cause of wildfires in Oregon during the 2012 fire season.
Those who wish to burn debris are asked to call their local fire district to determine whether or not burning is allowed. Fire officials urge residents to either chip their debris or haul it to a landfill. Gas powered equipment should be used early in the morning before the sun dries the grass.
From Keep Oregon Green Association