FIRE RESTRICTIONS: - Fire Season terminated as of September 26, 2019
FIRE RESTRICTIONS: - Regulated Closure terminated as of September 16, 2019
MH1 and MH4 IFPL: - IFPL no longer in effect as of September 26, 2019

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Hood River and Wasco counties Reconvene Forestland Classification Committee


[The Dalles, Ore]  The Hood River-Wasco counties Forestland Classification Committee will be reconvening to review and update forestland classification within Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) Central Oregon District, The Dalles Unit.  As required by ORS 526.320 the committee will review existing forestland classification, last updated in 2012, and make appropriate changes.  The committee will meet December 18, 2019 at 1785 Meyer Pkwy, Hood River, OR 97031, at 2:00 P.M.  The meeting is open to the public. 
The seven members of the committee are appointed by Hood River and Wasco counties’ Board of Commissioners (four members), Oregon State Fire Marshal’s office, Oregon State University Extension Service, and Oregon Department of Forestry. 
Committee members include:
·        Kristin Dodd, Oregon Department of Forestry Representative
·        Doug Thiesies, Hood River County Forester, Forestland Representative
·        Paul Jones, Hood River County Representative, Forestland Owner
·        Steve Kramer, Wasco County Commissioner, At-Large Member
·        Dave Anderson, City of The Dalles, Wasco County Forestland Representative
·        Glenn Ahrens, OSU Extension Service Representative
·        Jim Trammel, Oregon State Fire Marshal Representative
Forestland classification is the process by which the committee will review the criteria used to classify forestland within the counties and determine any appropriate changes to the criteria based on current Statutes and Rules for Oregon.  By statute (ORS526.324) forestland includes lands suitable for growing timber, grazing of livestock, or a combination of timber and grazing. The committee will then apply the criteria to non-federal lands in Hood River and Wasco counties, classifying the lands as timber, grazing, or joint use.
Forestland within ODF’s Central Oregon District Boundary is assigned a Forest Patrol Assessment that is reflected on a landowner’s county tax statement.  This assessment pays for ODF’s wildfire protection for these lands.
The committee will spend the next several months reviewing the previous criteria used and revising the existing classification, where warranted.  When edits are complete, a draft of the designated forestland classification will be presented to the public at informational meetings and at a public hearing where landowners can provide testimony to the committee. Upon adoption of the final classification with each county Clerk, Forest Patrol Assessment will be updated for landowners in Wasco and Hood River counties for the upcoming tax year. 
For additional information on forestland classification processes or ODF’s Central Oregon District, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Fire Season Ends for Oregon Department of Forestry’s Central Oregon District


[Prineville, Ore]  Recent cool temperatures and precipitation have brought an end to the 2019 fire season for Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) Central Oregon District.  At 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, September 26, 2019 fire season will officially be terminated.  Wildland fuels across the District do not pose a significant risk of rapid fire growth, however weather and fuel conditions during the fall can change quickly.  The public is reminded to follow all local burning restrictions to reduce the risk of escaped debris burns.
“We still want everyone to be careful with their burning, and to follow recommendations and restrictions,” reminds Kristin Dodd, Unit Forester in The Dalles.  “Terminating fire season doesn’t mean fire won’t burn, especially on dry windy days.”
Landowners who plan to burn industrial logging slash, fuel reduction or defensible space materials, or other debris from forest activities should contact their local ODF Office to obtain a burn permit.  Burning of yard debris or burn barrels should follow fire department restrictions and do not require a permit from ODF.  

On THE DALLES UNIT (Hood River and Wasco counties)—Yard debris (small piles) and burn barrels are allowed from dawn until 11:00 a.m.  Burn permits are required by ODF or the local fire district.  Please call for details to obtain a permit.
On PRINEVILLE-SISTERS and JOHN DAY UNITS—Contact your local fire department for information regarding yard debris and burn barrels.
Fires should never be left unattended.  A shovel and water source on site are recommended when burning, even small piles.  Landowners may be liable for fires which escape.    
Firefighters within the Central Oregon District responded to 126 fires across the 2.3 million protected acres, burning just over 230 acres year-to-date.  The ten-year average for acres burned within the District is over 8,000 acres annually. The small number of acres burned in 2019 can be attributed to the quick, coordinated response of firefighting resources, wet thunderstorms, and a more moderate fire season across the region allowing more resources to be available for initial attack and extended attack for suppression efforts.  Human ignitions accounted for 49 fires, with 77 fires attributed to lightning. 
For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, including contact information and unit offices, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Regulated-Use Closure Terminated for Private Lands in Central Oregon District


[Prineville, Ore]  Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) has terminated Regulated-Use Closure for lands within the Central Oregon District (COD) effective 12:01 a.m.  September 16, 2019.  Lands affected include private, county, and municipal ownership inside the Central Oregon District Protection Boundary within the following counties:  Wasco, Hood River, Wheeler, Sherman, Umatilla, Grant, Morrow, Harney, Gilliam, Jefferson, Lake, Crook, and Deschutes.  While campfires will be allowed with owner permission inside the District, Rob Pentzer, District Forester for COD, reminds the public “Conditions can change rapidly in the fall and a fire should never be left unattended.  Be sure your fire is DEAD-OUT before you leave.”  Check for local county or fire department restrictions and burn bans before lighting a campfire or traveling off-road.
Fire season remains in effect for the Central Oregon District.  Cool temperatures and typical fall weather have reduced fire danger in wildland fuels and the potential for large fire growth is diminished.  However wind quickly dries fuels even following rain and changing weather and fuel conditions can result in unexpected fire spread.  Please use caution and respect fire season restrictions.  Open burning, including yard debris is prohibited during fire season.  Fuel and weather conditions will continue to be monitored. 
Industrial Fire Precaution Level for MH-1 and MH-4 for Wasco and Hood River counties remains at Level 1.   
For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, including contact information and unit offices, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.