Rains lift fire season in Western Oregon

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Associated Press

Posted on October 18, 2012 at 7:01 AM

Updated Thursday, Oct 18 at 7:01 AM

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — Heavy rains that drenched much of Western Oregon recently have prompted the Oregon Department of Forestry to lift fire season west of the Cascade Range.

However, department spokesman Rod Nichols said Wednesday that restrictions on open burning, campfires, smoking and ATV use remain across the region east of the Cascades.

Fire prevention specialist Brian Ballou says the rain turned out to be much more than expected.

That allowed fire risk to drop from extreme to low in Western Oregon.

The department is responsible for wildfires on state, county, private and U.S. Bureau of Land Management lands.

Statewide, 1.2 million acres burned this year, most of it range fires in the southeastern corner of the state. That is nearly four times the 10-year average.

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