Vale's new fire danger sign indicated a 'HIGH' rating as temperatures rise and fields dry out. (The Enterprise/Angelina Katsanis)

VALE - Fire season is officially here — and so is a new fire danger sign east of Vale to alert residents of the increasingly dry conditions. 

On Tuesday, June 8, the Vale BLM worked with Vale Fire and Rescue and Lee Farms to install a refurbished fire danger sign along Highway 20/26. 

The fire danger sign, which is visible to drivers as they head into town, is Vale’s first. There are four others in Malheur County, with two in Nyssa and two in Ontario.

The Vale BLM obtained the sign through the BLM's Wildfire Community Assistance program that aims to help communities prepare for wildfires. 

Al Crouch, fire mitigation/education specialist for the Vale District, said the fire danger sign came just in time for fire season.

“Smokey’s arm has moved to ‘high’,” said Crouch, referencing the recently updated fire danger level in Malheur County. 

‘High’ fire danger level means that fires start easily from most causes and “fires may become serious and their control difficult unless they are hit hard and fast while small.”

Crouch urged residents to be mindful of their surroundings as field conditions continue to dry out. He added that this year is drier than normal. 

The Vale District has not yet implemented fire restrictions but “anticipates doing so if the weather continues to be hot and dry,” Crouch said.

News tip? Contact reporter Joey Cappelletti at [email protected] or 616-610-3093.

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