View from Rye Ridge looking east.JPG

The Joseph Canyon Fire is shown from Rye Ridge on Sunday, June 6, 2021. The fire, as of Tuesday morning, has burned about 7,575 acres.

Fire season was officially declared by the Oregon Department of Forestry on its Northeastern Oregon lands at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, June 9.

"We've been seeing fire conditions and behavior that is more indicative of mid to late July recently," District Forester Joe Hessel said in a press release from the ODF. "The fuel moisture of our dead fuels is already at a point where they will readily burn, and it won't be long before our grasses have cured."

Fire season typically doesn't start until later in June, as Hessel said spring moisture typically pushes the start date back. Lightning from thunderstorms last week started two fires — the Joseph Canyon Fire and Dry Creek Fire — that between them have burned more than 9,100 acres, though both, as of Thursday, were 90% contained.

Regulations in place on ODF land during fire season include the following:

• Debris burning is prohibited. Burn permits will not be issued for burn barrels or open burning on Northeast Forest Protection District private forest and range lands.

• Exploding targets, tracer ammunition or bullets with a pyrotechnic charge are prohibited.

• Logging and other industrial operations must meet fire prevention requirements. Contact an ODF office or stewardship forester for more information.

• Campfires must be dead out, need to be attended and fully extinguished before they are left. 

• Use of Sky Lanterns is illegal at all times in Oregon.

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