Fire season in this corner of Oregon will begin Tuesday, June 22 at 1 a.m.
In a June 16 email signed by the three Oregon Department of Forestry district foresters for the Forest Grove, Tillamook, and Astoria districts, the district heads noted that recent rainy days delayed the onset of the local fire season, which had been eyed first to start June 15, then June 17, and now pushed to June 22.
“We got a good shot of rain this past week which was much needed,” said Astoria District Forester Dan Goody in the email to Northwest Oregon Forest Protective Association members. “However, warm weather has returned and will continue for the next 7-10 days, if not longer.”
The Portland office of the National Weather Service shows a forecast this week in the western Tualatin Plains with high temperatures in the upper 70’s, low 80’s, and on Monday, June 21, mid to upper 90’s.
The Northwest Oregon Forest Protective Association (NWOFPA) region includes the Tillamook State Forest, among other areas. It stretches north to the Columbia River, west to the Pacific Ocean, south to Sheridan, and east to parts of Gales Creek, the Killin Wetlands outside of Banks and to Scappoose. In 2020, the region was placed into fire season July 1.
“The outlook for the rest of summer is currently showing us to be hotter and drier as the summer progresses and we are fully prepared for a long duration fire season. The recent moisture we received has been very welcomed however, it is a “too little too late” type scenario and ultimately just delayed us going into fire season a few extra days,” Goody wrote.
A date for the statewide fire season has yet to be announced. Within the areas already under a fire season declaration, or the NWOFPA region on June 22, a series of restrictions will be placed on public use for those recreating or accessing ODF-protected lands depending on the severity of fire danger.
The public and industrial users of local forests can stay informed of current fire restrictions by visiting the agency’s Fire Restrictions & Closures website or calling their local ODF or protective association office.
In 2020, following the devastation of the Labor Day fires in western Oregon, fire season ended officially in the NWOFPA region on October 12.