FIRE RESTRICTIONS: Fire Season terminated October 16, 2017. Regulated Closure terminated October 3.
MH1 and MH4 IFPL: IFPL Terminated as of October 16, 2017.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Fire Season Ends for Oregon Department of Forestry in Central Oregon

[Prineville, Ore.]  Oregon Department of Forestry’s Central Oregon District terminated fire season at 12:01 a.m. on October 16, 2017.  Recent weather patterns combined with shorter days and cooler nights have reduced the risk of large fire growth.  “Under these conditions fuels won’t be able to dry out enough to be a significant hazard and they no longer warrant the need for us to be in fire season,” says District Forester Mike Shaw.
Termination of fire season brings an increase in outdoor burning from activities such as fuel reduction, yard debris clean-up, and operations to reduce slash in managed forests.  Consider alternatives to burning such as chipping, composting and debris removal programs through your local landfill.  Covering piles is also a good option to allow burning later in the fall when risk of escaped fire is further reduced. 
Fall weather can vary day to day, cold temperatures and wind can dry fuels and fan flames when fires are left unattended or not fully extinguished.  Uncontrolled fire can result in citations and fines, as well as liability for any costs associated with suppression of the fire.  Following these tips will help reduce the risk of an uncontrolled fire:
·       Check with your local fire agency and/or local ODF office to determine if you need a permit, what restrictions are in place, and if it is a burn day.
·       Follow all instructions on your burn permit (if one is required)
·       Never leave a fire unattended.
·       Keep fires small and manageable.
·       Do not burn on windy days.
·       Have water and a shovel available.
·       Clear the area around the fire to mineral soil.
·       To extinguish your fire:  Drown with water and stir until it is cold to the touch.
·       Report any uncontrolled fire to 9-1-1.
Burn permits can be requested on-line on Central Oregon Districts website, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com for information.
Year to date for 2017 human caused fires have accounted for 60% of the fires in the Central Oregon District, burning 703 acres in 67 fires.  Uncontrolled fires damage our natural resources including air, water, and soil.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Burning update for The Dalles Unit

Modified Burn Ban

Effective Saturday October 7th, 2017 lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry in Hood River County will enter a modified burn ban.  The modification to the current burn ban allows for burn barrels and small debris pile burning to take place between 6am and 11am.  All fires must be fully extinguished by 11am.  As always, any burning requires a current burn permit, acquired at your local fire authority.

Grounds protected by Oregon Department of Forestry in Wasco County continue to be in a strict burn ban.  This means there is no burning allowed in burn barrels nor debris piles until the ban is fully lifted.  Cooperating fire agencies in Wasco County are monitoring the weather and fuel moistures closely to ensure the burn ban is lifted when conditions safely warrant burning.

For questions, please contact your local fire authority or contact Oregon Department of Forestry, The Dalles at: 541-296-4626.  Thank you for your continued efforts to keep Oregon green.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Regulated Closure ends in Central Oregon District

[Prineville, Ore.]  Over the last few weeks cooler temperatures and increased precipitation has reduced the fire danger throughout lands protected by Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) in central Oregon.  As a result of this reduced fire danger the Regulated Closure in ODF’s Central Oregon District terminates at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, October 3, 2017.  These restrictions were in place to limit human caused fires during high fire danger when rapid fire growth may occur.  While fire danger is reduced the potential for fires to burn uncontrolled or ignite due to carelessness remains.  Gordon Foster, Prineville Unit Forester reminds us, “We need the public to maintain a high level of awareness and be vigilant in their prevention actions.  The risk of fire is reduced, not eliminated.”  Fire season is still in effect for the Central Oregon District, restricting the use of tracer ammunition and exploding targets as well as other forestry activities.

Campfires are allowed on ODF protected lands in central Oregon, however open burning in The Dalles Unit and Prineville-Sisters Unit require burn permits.  This includes yard debris and burning forestry slash.  Never leave a fire unattended, whether a campfire or debris burn.  To reduce the risk of an uncontrolled fire always clear the area around burn area, have tools handy, and follow all requirements on your permit.  Other safe burning practices can be found online at www.keeporegongreen.org.  Debris burning in the John Day Unit, including the Fossil Sub-Unit is prohibited during fire season.  Information for obtaining burn permits from the Central Oregon District can be found at www.ODFcentraloregon.com.

The Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) for MH-1 and MH-4 in Hood River and Wasco counties has been reduced to Level 1.  Requirements for industrial operators and a map of this area can be found at https://gisapps.odf.oregon.gov/firerestrictions/ifpl.html.  Fire season restrictions are still in place in COD, including requirements for hand tools, fire watch, equipment standards, and water supply.  Smoking is not allowed while working or traveling in an operation area.

ODF’s Central Oregon District includes private lands in Crook, Deschutes, Grant, Hood River, Jefferson, Wasco, Wheeler, Gilliam, Morrow, and Harney counties, as well as small parts of Umatilla and Lake counties.  Landowners, local agencies, and land managers may have additional restrictions in place, always check to be certain you are in compliance.  Federal land public use restrictions are available at local National Forest offices, or on their websites.

Year to date for 2017 human caused fires have accounted for 60% of the fires in the Central Oregon District, an increase of 15% over the District’s ten year average.  Uncontrolled fires damage our natural resources including air, water, and soil.  For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.