It’s getting dry, be careful with fire

July 14, 2010 05:00 am

Did you know that the Brookings-Harbor area has gone 29 days without any measurable rain? Neither did we. But that’s what the Pilot’s weather station here in downtown Brookings has recorded. And there’s no sign of precipitation in the foreseeable future. 

Fortunately, the dry period has been accompanied by mild weather, with temperatures rarely topping 70 degrees at the coast and 80 inland. Still, don’t be lulled into a false sense of security. A few short miles inland the forests are fast becoming dry as a tinderbox, ready to ignite from a single bolt of lightning, or worse yet, a single human act of carelessness.

Fire season is officially under way in Curry County.  From now until November, citizens are required to obtain permits from various local fire agencies to use burn barrels and to burn brush. Controls have been tightened on campers who want to have campfires and cook over an open flame.

The time will come this summer when all fires will be prohibited.

Meanwhile, fire officials encourage property owners to cut the tall grass and brush to minimize the opportunity of fire on property for the rest of the summer. 

Of course, it would be best to refrain from doing any commercial or recreational burning. But should one choose to use fire, here are some tips to reduce the risks: 

•If campfires are allowed where you are camping, extinguish them completely.

 •Use care when barbecuing, keeping the ground under and around the barbecue clear of vegetation and away from combustible material or structures.

As conditions change this summer, firefighting agencies will tighten and ease fire restrictions. If you have any questions about burning or want more information about fire-safe procedures, call your local fire department or the Coos Forest Protective Association at 541-672-6507.