Douglas County fire danger moved to low, but fire season is still in effect

By Jeff Thompson (OPB)
Sept. 18, 2021 10:23 p.m.

Forestry officials say fire danger is now considered low on public lands in Douglas County, thanks to heavy rainfall this weekend.

Kyle Reed with the Oregon Department of Forestry said while the wet weather was welcome, this does not mean fire season is over.


“One of the biggest concerns we have when we get these big shots of precipitation is, uh, we see a lot of illegal burns take place. So that’s a big thing. We want to remind people that, as of this point, there’s no backyard debris burning allowed,” Reed told OPB.

Some restrictions have been lifted for lawnmowers, chainsaws and other power tools. U.S. Forest Service restrictions remain in place for some vehicles and generators. The restrictions in place are below:

  • Backyard debris burning, including the use of burn barrels, is prohibited.
  • Open fires are prohibited, including campfires, charcoal fires, cooking fires, and warming fires, except at designated sites. Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels are allowed elsewhere.
  • Smoking is prohibited in wildland areas except in vehicles, in boats on the water, or at other designated locations.
  • The use of fireworks is prohibited.
  • Motor vehicles traveling on forest roads must have an axe, a shovel, and one gallon of water or one operational 2½ pound or larger fire extinguisher. All-terrain vehicles and motorcycles must be equipped with one operational 2 ½ pound or larger fire extinguisher. Off road driving is allowed during low fire danger with landowner permission.
  • Any electric fence controller in use shall be listed by a nationally recognized testing laboratory or be certified by the Department of Consumer and Business Services and be operated in compliance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

As of Saturday, the Jack Fire and Devil’s Knob Complex in Douglas County are still only about half-contained. Together they’ve burned almost 100,000 acres. Reed said crews will need much more precipitation in the coming weeks to bring an end to fire season.