Be cautious in tinder-dry woods
When it comes to fire danger, the woods aren’t out of the woods yet. Let’s be careful out there.
While it’s true that rain and cooler temperatures helped keep wildfires from spreading this fire season, and true also that the number of wildfires on public and private lands was lower than some years, the weather turned hot in late summer and early fall.
This happened in concert with the opening of hunting seasons, so great numbers of people are tramping through the forests now.Although showers are in the forecast this week, the fire danger level is rated “high” on both the Wallowa-Whitman and the Umatilla national forests. Conditions are the same on state-protected and private lands. Standing trees and debris on the forest floor are extremely dry, highly combustible.
Common-sense rules apply. They include obeying local laws and restrictions regarding vehicles, equipment and campfires; keeping flammable objects away from fire; being careful with lanterns, campfires and charcoal briquettes; drowning all fires; and carefully extinguishing smoking materials.
At this time of year, wildfires are more likely to be caused by humans than by lightning. A single careless act could cause a disaster.
It’s been a great summer and a beautiful fall, with fire doing less-than-expected damage to our forests. Here’s hoping it stays that way.
Keep those tips coming
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