Fire Protection Committee Prepares for 2016 Wildfire Season
It's been a wet winter, but fire season is just around the corner. The Oregon Department of Forestry is already planning for summer 2016.
Rain and snow pack were especially significant in December, and average in January. And while those early indicators are good, O.D.F.'s Chief of Fire Protection Doug Grafe says predictions must be made carefully.
GRAFE: "The rain in May/June is really significant and predictions for those are about average. But those really dictate the extremity of fire seasons also, so we really gotta wait before we get too excited."
Grafe says the drought remains though its intensity has decreased, especially in the northwestern part of the state. He serves on O.D.F.'s Fire Program Review Committee – a group comprised of forest landowners, fire professionals and elected officials to address challenges posed by increasing wildfire severity. The committee's next meeting is March 14th - interested members of the public are welcome.