The skies are filled with smoke and you can hear the big propeller engines of the fire retardant planes coming and going all day at the Medford Airport, a sure sign that we’ve reached extreme fire conditions. Mowing of dead grass, chainsaws, and other power or spark emitting equipment restrictions are now in place between 10am and 8pm and open burning is out. To find out just exactly how to keep you property safe and to get the latest updates on current fire situations, such as the Brimstone and Labrador fires in Josephine County, or current fire regulations in effect, visit the Southwest Oregon Fire Conditions webpage by clicking here. And Josephine County Commissioners held a press conference at 11:30 this morning to declare a state of emergency situation and detail numerous road closures.
RVTV is teaming up with the City of Grants Pass with a new fire awareness short video that will begin airing on the channels in Jackson and Josephine Counties a little later this week. Three wildfire experts will assess the current conditions, which are being compared to 2002 when the Biscut Fire erupted, burning over 500,000 acres before the winter rains and snows put it out. The Beacon Hill fire in Grants Pass in May acted more like a mid-summer fire than late spring, and we’ve had nothing but sunshine since then including two straight weeks of temps in the high 90’s and low 100’s.
The short fire awareness video will be posted on the City website on the video archive page. There is also a 1 hour Firewise program at the bottom of that page that has excellent home defense information as well as contact info to get in touch with Bob Shumacher and the Firewise program in Grants Pass for a site visit.
Resources are already stretched thin with 75 active fires in the region, please use extra caution around your property and when out in the great outdoors. One careless act can blacken thousands of square miles of pristine Oregon forests, as well as destroy Oregon properties and hurt or kill people. We could still have 3 months of extreme type conditions ahead.