June 19, 2001 11:00 pm

By The Observer

Fire season will arrive a couple of weeks early this year in Northeast Oregon.

Mark Jacques of the Oregon Department of Forestrys La Grande office, said the season will begin Friday.

The large fuels are pretty dry, and once the grass cures, well be into a potentially interesting fire season, Jacques said.

During fire season, slash burning is prohibited and loggers must carry firefighting tools, including water. The season affects private property, as well as Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and state lands in Northeast Oregon.

The state requires burning permits on all property protected by the state. Permits are available at the state forestry offices in La Grande and Wallowa. Permits are required year around on national forest lands.

Campers are asked to monitor all fires and put them completely out when leaving.

For information about state regulations, call the La Grande office at 963-3168.