FIRE RESTRICTIONS: -Fire Season began June 7, 2017. Read about the restrictions.
MH1 and MH4 IFPL: -IFPL 3 as of July 14, 2017. Read about the restrictions.

Friday, July 29, 2016

The Dalles Unit: IFPL 3 to be in effect for MH-1 July 29, 2016

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Click Map for Statewide Current Fire Restrictions
STATE OF OREGON
DEPARTMENT OF FORESTRY
INDUSTRIAL FIRE PRECAUTION LEVEL 3
CLOSEDOWN ORDER

Number 03

Effective 12:01 a.m., PDT, July 29, 2016

By virtue of the authority vested in me by ORS 477.625, ORS 477.670, and OAR 629-043-0070, I hereby issue notice the following subject area is susceptible to damage by fire and proclaim Industrial Fire Precaution Level 3 to be in effect:

All lands protected by the Central Oregon Forest Protection District, in regulated use area MH-1 and all forestland within one-eighth mile thereof.
Under Industrial Fire Precaution Level 3, the use of fire or power-driven machinery in any operation area is unlawful unless such use is in compliance with the following:
Partial Shutdown: The following activities are not permitted at any time, except as noted:
  1. Cable yarding systems, except that gravity operated logging systems using non-motorized carriages may operate between 8:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m., when all blocks and moving lines are suspended at least 10 feet above the ground (except the line between the carriage and the chokers).
  2. Power saws, except power saws may operate at loading sites and on tractor or skidder operations between 8:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m.
In addition, the following activities are permitted to operate between 8:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. local time:
  1. Tractor, skidder, feller-buncher, forwarder, or shovel logging operations where  tractors, skidders, or other equipment with a blade capable of constructing a fireline are immediately available to quickly reach and effectively attack a fire start.
  2. Mechanized loading or hauling of any product or material
  3. Blasting, welding or cutting of metal
  4. Any other spark emitting activity not specifically mentioned.
The State Forester or an authorized representative may, in writing, approve a modification or waiver of these requirements.

These restrictions shall remain in effect until replaced or terminated by an additional Closedown Order of the State Forester or an authorized representative.

Maps of the subject area may be viewed at the State Forester's Office, in Salem, Oregon, and at principal offices of the Forest Protection District.

Definitions of words and phrases used in this proclamation may be found in ORS 477.001, OAR 629-041-0005.

MH-1 and MH-4 Industrial Fire Precaution Level 2 as of July 25, 2016

Link to Statewide Fire Restriction Map
Click map for statewide map of current fire restrictions.

STATE OF OREGON

DEPARTMENT OF FORESTRY

INDUSTRIAL FIRE PRECAUTION LEVEL 2

CLOSEDOWN ORDER

 Number 02
 
Effective 10:00 a.m., PDT, July 25, 2016

By virtue of the authority vested in me by ORS 477.625, ORS 477.670, and OAR 629-043-0070, I hereby issue notice the following subject area is susceptible to damage by fire and proclaim Industrial Fire Precaution Level 2 to be in effect:

All lands protected by the Central Oregon Forest Protection District, in regulated use areas MH-1 and MH-4 and all forestland within one-eighth mile thereof.
                                                        
Under Industrial Fire Precaution Level 2, the use of fire or power-driven machinery in any operation area is unlawful unless such use is in compliance with the following:

Partial Shutdown: The following activities are not permitted between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., except as noted:

1.     Power saws, except power saws may operate at loading sites.
2.     Cable yarding
3.     Blasting
4.     Welding or cutting of metal

The State Forester or an authorized representative may, in writing, approve a modification or waiver of these requirements.

These restrictions shall remain in effect until replaced or terminated by an additional Closedown Order of the State Forester or an authorized representative.

Maps of the subject area may be viewed at the State Forester's Office, in Salem, Oregon, and at principal offices of the Forest Protection District.

Definitions of words and phrases used in this proclamation may be found in ORS 477.001, OAR 629-041-0005.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Wildfire Evacuation Planning

Ready, Set, Go!  These are familiar words at a track meet, but in the case of a wildfire, Ready, Set, Go has a much different implication.  Here in central Oregon we are settling into a much quieter beginning to fire season than we have seen in recent memory—but all that can change in an instant.  One careless action or a single lightning strike could bring flames to your door.  Creating a Wildfire Evacuation Plan now can help ensure that you don’t forget essential items and that everyone makes it out safely.  If you live in the forest or the Wildland Urban Interface now is the time to be Ready.  Being Ready to evacuate helps emergency personnel focus on the fire and gives you and your family the best chance of surviving a wildfire.  Take the time now to develop a Wildfire Evacuation Plan.  Share it with your family, so everyone knows what to do if a wildfire starts nearby and you are notified to evacuate.  Talk to your neighbors about Ready, Set, Go so they will be prepared as well.

Key pieces to your evacuation plan include:
  • Home Evacuation Checklist
  • Practicing several escape routes from your home to a safe location.
  • Designating a meeting location, well away from the home. 
  • A plan for evacuating pets and livestock.  Plan for how to get them out, and where you will take them.
  • Assemble an Emergency Supply Kit
  • A family communication plan—someone everyone can call and check-in with.  Identify emergency numbers you need to have with you and keep these numbers readily available, with copies in your Emergency Supply Kit.
A family communication plan—someone everyone can call and check-in with.  Identify emergency numbers you need to have with you and keep these numbers readily available, with copies in your Emergency Supply Kit.
Remember that safe locations for meeting, staging, and placing pets should be well away from the hazard area.  You may need to have more than one location identified depending on the location of the fire.  Your neighbor’s house is not a suitable meeting place.

The six P’s

Keep these Ready in case of evacuation
  • People and pets
  • Papers, phone numbers & important documents
  • Prescriptions, vitamins, & eyeglasses
  • Pictures & irreplaceable memorabilia
  • Personal computer hard drive, disks and storage devices
  • Plastic” (credit cards, ATM cards) and cash
www.readyforwildfire.org/  has additional information to help you prepare for a wildfire, including developing your Home Evacuation Checklist and Wildfire Evacuation Plan.

Ready your home by creating defensible space free from flammable vegetation and ladder fuels.  Your home is more likely to survive a wildfire if you have screened in underneath porches or decks, have fire resistant siding and roofing materials, and have removed flammable debris from roof and gutters.  Visit FIREFREE’s website, www.firefree.org/?page_id=29, for more information on preparing your home for wildfire.
READY, SET, GO!—What does it mean?
READY  LEVEL 1: A Level 1 Evacuation means “BE READY” for potential evacuation.  Residents should be aware of the danger that exists in their area, monitor emergency services websites and local media outlets for information. This is the time for preparation and precautionary movement of persons with special needs, mobile property and (under certain circumstances) pets and livestock. If conditions worsen, emergency services personnel may contact you via an emergency notification system.
SET  LEVEL 2: A Level 2 Evacuation means “BE SET” to evacuate. 
YOU MUST PREPARE TO LEAVE AT A MOMENTS NOTICE
This level indicates there is significant danger to your area, and residents should either voluntarily relocate to a shelter or with family/friends outside of the affected area, or if choosing to remain, to be ready to evacuate at a moment’s notice.  Residents MAY have time to gather necessary items, but doing so is at their own risk.
THIS MAY BE THE ONLY NOTICE THAT YOU RECEIVE
Emergency services cannot guarantee that they will be able to notify you if conditions rapidly deteriorate. Area media services will be asked to broadcast periodic updates.
GO LEVEL 3: A Level 3 Evacuation means “GO” Evacuate NOW
LEAVE IMMEDIATELY!
Danger to your area is current or imminent, and you should evacuate immediately. If you choose to ignore this advisement, you must understand that emergency services may not be available to assist you further. DO NOT delay leaving to gather any belongings or make efforts to protect your home.
THIS WILL BE THE LAST NOTICE THAT YOU RECEIVE
Entry to evacuated areas may be denied until conditions are safe.  Area radio and TV stations have been asked to broadcast periodic updates.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Familiar Faces in New Roles for ODF in Central Oregon


Rob Pentzer, Assistant District Forester
Central Oregon District
[John Day, Ore.]  Rob Pentzer has been selected as the Assistant District Forester for ODF’s Central Oregon District (COD).  Pentzer has been part of COD since 2012, serving as the John Day Unit Forester during some very challenging fire seasons.  Rob is a graduate of the University of Idaho, with a B.S. in Forest Ecosystem Management.  He has extensive knowledge of forestry and wildland fire from his time with ODF, and his prior experience with Idaho Department of Lands.
Rob will continue to work from the John Day office as the Assistant District Forester.  His desire to remain part of the community allows for an opportunity for COD to add capacity at a higher level in this part of the District.  Rob has been a valuable leader as the John Day Unit Forester; his leadership skills and the relationships Rob has built with landowners and cooperators will serve him well in his new role.  Rob started in his new position in May. 

John Day Unit Forester Ryan Miller
Ryan Miller was selected to fill the John Day Unit Forester position vacated by Pentzer.  Ryan has been the Stewardship Forester in John Day for the last two years, working with private landowners to administer the Forest Practices Act and landowner assistance programs.  He started with ODF as a seasonal firefighter in Dallas in 1998, accepting a permanent position in ODF’s Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Unit in 2000 after completing his Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Geography from Western Oregon University.  Ryan has worked in the State Forests and Private Forests Divisions, in addition to his GIS positions and his recent work as the John Day Stewardship Forester.  His diverse background in the agency and strong communication skills provide a strong base for Ryan as the John Day Unit Forester.
Ryan, his wife Elisha and their son Henry have made John Day their home.

For more information on ODF’s Central Oregon District visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.



Friday, July 8, 2016

Limited Moisture Not Enough to Reduce Fire Danger

While central Oregon is in a pattern of cooler than normal weather, and has received precipitation over the last twenty-four hours, fire danger remains high.  The US Drought Monitor for Oregon issued on July 7, 2016, indicates that most lands within the Central Oregon District (COD) fall into the “abnormally dry” category.  This reflects what fire managers are seeing in the forest and current fuel moisture conditions.  Now into Oregon’s fifth year of drought conditions, we continue to see the long term affects to the down material and live vegetation stressed from limited water.

For the next few days firefighters will benefit from the moisture, because it will be more difficult for a “spark” to ignite a fire and rapidly spread.  This is because of the increased moisture in the fine fuels, but these fuels will quickly dry out even with the moderate temperatures expected over the next few days.  “The biggest concern for us now, during the heart of fire season, is that someone assumes the rain has made it safe to burn.  When surrounding fuels dry out in the days following a debris burn, the remnants of that debris burn rekindle and spread to wildland fuels while no one is watching”, states Mike Shaw, Central Oregon District Forester. 

Debris burning is not allowed on lands protected by the Central Oregon District of the Oregon Department of Forestry.  Contact information for your local ODF Office can be found on ODF’s Central Oregon District website: www.ODFcentraloregon.com. 

COD remains in a Regulated Use Closure intended to reduce human caused fires.  Year to date there have been thirty-six human caused fires within the District, primarily related to debris burning.  This number is significantly higher than the ten year average of twenty-eight (for the same time period).  These fires are preventable, causing concern for firefighters and fire managers.  While fire managers have the ability to use modern technology to track thunderstorms and staff with additional resources, human caused fires do not allow that as they occur at random times. 

Please report fires to your local 911 dispatch center.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Wassen Fire Pond Update | July 5, 2016

[The Dalles Unit, Central Oregon District] - The Wassen Pond Fire was reported at about 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 3, burning four miles west of The Dalles on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry and Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue.

The fire remains at 300 acres this morning (about 30 acres on ODF jurisdiction) and is 75 percent contained. Line construction will continue today to fully contain the fire.

The fire is under Unified Command between ODF and MCFR. Cause remains under investigation.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Wassen Pond Fire

 [The Dalles Unit, Central Oregon District] - The Wassen Pond Fire was reported at about 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 3, burning four miles west of The Dalles on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry and Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue.  The fire, under Unified Command between ODF and MCFR, is currently approximately 180 acres (with most of that acreage on MCFR), and hand- and dozer-lined.  Additional resources from ODF, rural fire departments in the area, and the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area are assisting with this fire.  Cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Fire officials in the Columbia River Gorge urge the public to be extremely cautious and wildfire-safe, particularly with fireworks, as firefighting resources are stretched thin in the area and a Red Flag Warning for high winds and low humidity is in effect.
 
Published from the Oregon Department of Forestry Daily Fire Update | Monday, July 4, 2016