FIRE RESTRICTIONS: -Fire Season Restrictions in effect. Read Regulated Use Closure Prohibited Activities.
                                      -The Dalles Unit MH-1 IFPL 3, MH-4 IFPL 3. Read Hot Saw Additional Requirements.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Public Urged to Report Suspicious Activity Related to Central Oregon Wildfires


Central Oregon – In the past month, Central Oregon has had numerous human caused fires. Now, Oregon State Police along with the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement, Bureau of Land Management, Oregon Department of Forestry and Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office believe that several of those fires were intentionally started. Specific details will not be released while investigations are ongoing.

While an investigation by all cooperating agencies is in progress, we would like to urge the public to report suspicious activity on public lands by calling the Oregon State Police at 503-375-3555 or if it is an emergency, call 9-1-1.

Central Oregon is currently in the peak of its fire season and the fire danger level is EXTREME with very dry fuels and continued hot and dry weather in the forecast. The public is reminded that every wildfire puts our firefighters, visitors, residents and properties in danger.

In addition to the arson fires, our firefighters have responded to numerous abandoned or escaped campfires. Campfires should never be left unattended and should be cold to the touch whenever they are left. Additionally, please properly dispose of cigarette butts, park only in areas clear of vegetation, and in general use caution while working and recreating.

Friday, August 12, 2016

MH-4 in The Dalles Unit moves to IFPL 3



This morning MH-4 in The Dalles Unit moves to IFPL 3.

A level 3 will mainly affect:

-Hot saws are shut down at 1pm and must have an area observer and additional equipment and/or water close by.  If using a hot saw please read the attached document (Hot saw req.pdf) AND call me to discuss.  Our agency has discussed the idea of restricting hot saws altogether during a level 3, however we have decided that IF the precautions outlined in the attachment are followed closely we can prevent most fire starts; or in the event of a fire, the operator will have the necessary equipment to quickly suppress it.  In addition to the minimum restrictions and requirements, operators may want to think about voluntary precautions for hot saws on their specific operation. 

-Chain saws are not allowed to work in the unit.  Chain saws may be used at landing sites until 1 pm.
-Ground-based equipment is allowed to work until 1pm IF there is a machine with blade close by capable of constructing fire line.
-Gravity cable systems are allowed until 1pm.  Motorized carriage operations are not allowed.
-All operations are shutdown at 1pm
-There is a 3 hour fir watch in a level 3

On occasion, a waiver to the restrictions imposed by a level 3 may be considered.  Before calling ODF to discuss a waiver please do the following:

1-Perform a self-inspection on your operation to assure all fire tools, water, and equipment are up-to-speed.

2-Perform a fire drill with employees.  Items to discuss: make sure water wagon is unlocked during operations and during fire watch; discuss what fire watch will do and who (and how) they will call for help; make sure all employees know how to operate water wagon; make sure hitches are compatible with water wagon; if waiver is issued truck must be hooked up to water wagon regardless of how many gallons in wagon, both during operations and fire watch period.  

3-Move water wagon as close as practicable to your equipment.

4-Be prepared to suggest additional prevention and/or suppression measures such as building dozer line around unit, providing more water or multiple water wagons, firing up water wagon each morning, having 2 workers as a fire watch, have fire watch camp out on or near the job site etc.

5-Call Chet Behling(541-296-4626) for an inspection, if one hasn't been done already on your specific job site.


Thursday, August 11, 2016

Central Oregon is Home to the First and 100th Oregon Firewise Community

August 10, 2016

Contact: Alison Green, Program Director
    Project Wildfire, FireFree
    541-419-1116

Deschutes County’s residents in the wildland urban interface (WUI) have been embracing their responsibility of living with wildfire for almost two decades. Now not only is Deschutes County proudly the home to the very first Firewise Community in the state but also to the 100th Firewise Community. Fall River Estates south of Sunriver was the very first Firewise Community in Oregon and Deschutes County twelve years ago. Squaw Creek Canyon Estates outside of Sisters is now the 100th Community to commit to their own wildfire preparedness by being recognized as a Firewise Community.

Since 2002, The Firewise Communities, USA Recognition Program has empowered neighbors to work together in reducing their wildfire risk. After 14 short years, the growing network includes over 1,300 recognized Firewise Communities in 40 states nationwide who are taking action and ownership in preparing and protecting their homes against the threat of wildfire. Communities develop an action plan that guides their residential risk reduction activities, while engaging and encouraging their neighbors to become active participants in building a safer place to live.

“Wildfire preparedness is an ongoing process for all the residents of central Oregon,” says Alison Green, Program Coordinator for Project Wildfire.  “The Firewise program allows for the grass root movements within each neighborhood to increase the responsibility of each individual resident to create defensible space at their own home and increase the chances of the whole neighborhood surviving a wildfire,” she adds.

"We are honored to host this event as the 100th Oregon Firewise Community in the Sisters area, but everyone should know that it took thousands of residents throughout the state of Oregon to reach to this milestone,” says Gary Marshall, Fire Safety Manager for Sisters Camp Sherman Fire. “By taking personal responsibility for their wildfire preparedness, residents reduced flammable vegetation near their homes and replaced flammable roofing with fire resistive materials to better adapted to wildfire in central Oregon," Marshall adds.

On August 12th, 2016 at 11:30 am Squaw Creek Canyon Estates will be hosting a celebration for all the partners and local Firewise Communities at the fire station in the community. Station 703 is located at 17233 Buffalo Drive, Sisters, OR. All are welcome to join to celebrate central Oregon’s continued commitment to Firewise and wildfire preparedness overall.

For more information on Firewise visit www.firewise.org and for more information on Project Wildfire visit www.projectwildfire.org.