Oregon wildfire season ends in most of state

With cooler weather, increased precipitation, and more rain in the forecast, most of Oregon is officially done with fire season.

All except for two fire districts throughout the state have ended their seasons, said Jessica Prakke, spokesperson with the Oregon Department of Forestry. The remaining two are in areas with drier weather, Prakke said. The Southwest Oregon District lowered its fire danger to “low” on Sunday, she said, and the Coos Forest Protective Association estimates it will end its fire season this weekend.

Fire officials also have cancelled evacuations. All remaining evacuations in the Cedar Creek Fire were lifted on Monday, the Lane County Sheriff’s Office said. That fire, estimated at 127,283 acres, continues to burn and is 55% contained. And all Nakia Creek fire evacuations were called off in Clark County last week.

The impact of wildfires on the land this year may prove somewhat smaller than last year’s. An estimated 536,693 acres have burned to date in Oregon, according to the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center in Portland. Last year, wildfires burned 828,777 acres. And in 2020 – one of the most destructive fire seasons in Oregon’s history – fires scorched well over a million acres and destroyed thousands of homes.

Though the season may be over for most, a handful of fires remain active, said Ted Pierce, a manager with the Interagency Center. Pierce said roughly 1,400 personnel are still deployed in Oregon and Washington, most of them on the Cedar Creek Fire.

With fire dangers low, officials across the state – including in Lincoln County, Washington County, and Clark County, among others – have also lifted all burning restrictions. Multnomah County had ended its burn ban on Oct. 1. Residents conducting backyard burning or businesses conducting commercial agricultural burning must still follow rules and guidelines set by the Department of Environmental Quality.

– Gosia Wozniacka; gwozniacka@oregonian.com; @gosiawozniacka

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