Brian Ballou with the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) said Monday he expects an active fire season, similar to last year. In fact, the season is starting just one day before last year’s, so officials are trying to draw parallels to be prepared for similar situations. Ballou said Southern Oregon is going into the summer very dry, but the weather’s been on a roller coaster this spring with the hot and cold temperatures. Ballou said the precipitation has helped to keep off some big fire risks.
Last year some of the worst fires started after lightning storms. This year ODF has lightning monitors that will be helping to move forces closer to areas where strikes could happen. Even though officials expect a severe season, Ballou said June 2 is not the earliest start. It’s started as early as April in past years.