September rains bring end to fire season

Recent rain has doused the 2013 fire season in Jackson and Josephine counties.

Beginning Tuesday, the Oregon Department of Forestry will remove all public and industrial fire prevention regulations that have been in place since June 3 when fire season began.

More than an inch — 1.03 inches — of rain has fallen on the National Weather Service station at the Medford airport since Sept. 1. The average for rainfall for this period in September is .38 of an inch.

Lightning-caused fires burned 42,300 acres out of the 43,077 acre burned in the two counties this fire season, according to Brian Ballou, spokesman for the ODF's Southwest Oregon District.

"People did a great job in not causing wild fires this season," Ballou said. "They were very conscientious, very careful."

However, he warned that the end of fire season does not mean the end of being responsible when it comes to outdoor burning.

He also reminds local residents to call before lighting a debris pile or burn barrel to determine whether it is a burn day. The number for Jackson County resident is 541-776-7007 while Josephine County residents should call 541-476-9663.

— Paul Fattig

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