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.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Fire Prevention Restrictions Ease on ODF Protected Lands in Central Oregon

[Prineville, Ore.] Cooler and wetter weather across most of central Oregon has reduced the wildland fire danger allowing Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) Central Oregon District (COD) to modify the current fire prevention restrictions.  Campfires will still only be allowed at designated locations, primarily at local state parks.  However, use of chainsaws, mowing of dried grass, and welding/cutting of metal will be allowed between the hours of 8 p.m. and 1 p.m.  All other rules remain the same for these activities including on-site firefighting tools and fire watch as required.  These restrictions are intended to reduce human caused fires.  Changes to the restrictions took effect at 12:01 a.m., September 19, 2017.  More information regarding the specific restrictions can be found at www.odfcentraloregon.com
In addition to the Regulated Closure changes the District is modifying current restrictions for industrial activities in the forest.  For lands in MH-1 and MH-4 in Hood River and Wasco counties the Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) has been reduced to Level 2.  Requirements for industrial operators and a map of this area can be found at https://gisapps.odf.oregon.gov/firerestrictions/ifpl.html.  In the John Day and Prineville units the Additional Restrictions Order has been rescinded.  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.
Open burning, including campfires, warming fires, burning yard debris, and slash burning from logging is prohibited on lands protected by ODF in central Oregon.  Following a long dry fire season this cooler, wet weather may seem like an indicator of the end of fire season, however the recent record fuel conditions prior to this weather pattern requires significant wetting rain to reduce the danger of fires.  The risk of rapid large fire growth has diminished, but the potential for fires to burn in the wildland fuels remain.
The public is also reminded that the use of tracer ammunition or exploding targets is illegal within the District during fire season.  As of January 1, 2017 sky lanterns and other luminaries are prohibited in Oregon.
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 57% of the fires in the Central Oregon District, an increase of nearly 10% over the District’s ten year average.  Following Regulated Closure restrictions can reduce ignitions and limit damage to our natural resources including air, water, and soil.  For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.

Friday, August 25, 2017

ODF fire prevention restrictions still in effect in central Oregon

August 25, 2017
Contact:  Christie Shaw, Public Information Office
                 541-263-0661

[Prineville, Ore.] Regulated Closure restrictions for lands protected by Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) Central Oregon District (COD) remain in effect. These restrictions are intended to prevent fire starts from human activities. Numerous large fires currently burning in Oregon and adjacent states, continue to strain firefighting resources and initial attack capacity in the region.

There is increased activity in the forests as archery season begins this weekend and many families try to get camping trips in before school starts. Warming fires and campfires are prohibited, except in designated sites. Contact your local ODF Office if you are unsure whether campfires are allowed at your campsite.

“While the smoke in the air is a good reminder that we are still in fire season, there were a lot of changes to local restrictions and for ODF’s partner agencies around the eclipse time period,” states COD’s Public Information Officer, Christie Shaw. “We want to clear up any confusion and remind the public that restrictions for ODF’s Central Oregon District are still in effect and have not changed.” Fuels are still extremely dry and there is a high risk of rapid fire growth. Cooler weather the last couple days may give a false sense of reduced fire danger, however warmer temperatures and reduced humidity is in the forecast. Significant precipitation is necessary to reduce the current fire danger.

Activities below are restricted by this closure.  Additional restrictions and the full proclamation can be accessed at www.Oregon.gov/ODF/Fire/Pages/Restrictions.aspx

  • Possession of the following firefighting equipment is required while traveling in a motorized vehicle, except on federal and state highways, county roads and driveways: one shovel and one gallon of water or one operational 2½ pound or larger fire extinguisher, except all-terrain vehicles and motorcycles which must be equipped with an approved spark arrestor in good working condition.
  • Smoking is prohibited while traveling, except in vehicles on improved roads.
  • Open fires are prohibited, including campfires, charcoal fires, cooking fires and warming fires, except in designated areas.
  • Chainsaw use is prohibited, between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.  Chainsaw use is permitted at all other hours, if the following firefighting equipment is present with each operating saw: one axe, one shovel, and one operational 8 ounce or larger fire extinguisher.  In addition, a fire watch is required at least one hour following the use of each saw.
  • Mowing of dried grass with power driven equipment is prohibited, between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., except for the commercial culture and harvest of agricultural crops.
  • Use of motor vehicles, including motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles, is prohibited, except on improved roads and except for vehicle use by a landowner and employees of the landowner upon their own land while conducting activities associated with their livelihood. 
  • The use of fireworks and blasting is prohibited.
  • This Regulated Closure flyer is available to provide additional information, and as a reminder of the restrictions.

The public is also reminded that the use of tracer ammunition or exploding targets is illegal within the District during fire season. As of January 1, 2017 sky lanterns and other luminaries are prohibited in Oregon.

Year to date for 2017 human caused fires have accounted for 57% of the fires in the Central Oregon District. Following Regulated Closure restrictions can reduce ignitions and limit damage to our natural resources including air, water, and soil. For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Fire Update: Howard Meadows Fire

News Release—For Immediate Release
August 15, 2017
Oregon Department of Forestry
Umatilla National Forest

Contacts:  Christie Shaw (ODF), 541-263-0661
 Darcy Weseman (USFS), 541-215-2224

[John Day, Ore.] Firefighters from Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) John Day Unit and the Umatilla National Forest suppressed a fire near Howard Meadows in northern Grant County late Monday afternoon.  The Howard Meadows Fire was sparked by one of the many lightning strikes from last week’s thunderstorms.  Monday’s warm temperatures and afternoon winds fanned smoldering embers into dry fuels, accelerating fire growth.  Burning in grass and open pine, the fire was initially reported at fifteen acres and quickly grew.  Firefighters were able to contain the fire Monday evening at 185 acres.  The fire burned on private land protected by ODF and on the Umatilla National Forest.

The fire was running through the grass and lighter fuels and torching the open grown pine, challenging firefighters to stop the quick moving flame front.  Two helicopters and two Single Engine Air Tankers (SEAT’s) were used to slow the progression and allow firefighters to dig handline and place dozer line around the fire.  John Day Unit Forester Ryan Miller praised firefighter efforts, “Stopping the fire at 185 acres, in these fuel types is a huge success.  We have been doing all we can to stop these new fire starts.” ODF resources responded to two additional fire starts yesterday to protect private lands from wildfire.  Both of these fires were kept under an acre.

In addition to the SEAT’s and helicopters, on the ground resources included six engines from ODF and the Malheur National Forest, one tender, the Umatilla Veterans Crew (20 person), and two dozers.  Firefighters continued to work late into the night and were able to get a dozer line around 95% of the fire.  This morning resources will complete the dozer line, begin mopping up interior heat, and work to secure fireline.

Fire crews continue to patrol and mop up existing fires detected the past few days on Umatilla National Forest lands and lands protected by Oregon Department of Forestry.  The public is reminded that fuels remain extremely dry and that the passing thunderstorms did not provide enough moisture to reduce the fire danger.  Some areas did not see any precipitation from the storms and the return to seasonable temperatures quickly dried fuels that did.

Regulated Closure is in effect for lands protected by Oregon Department of Forestry’s Central Oregon District.  Year to date for 2017 human caused fires have accounted for forty-four of the seventy-seven fires in the Central Oregon District.  Following Regulated Closure restrictions can reduce ignitions and limit damage to our natural resources including air, water, and soil.  For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District including the Regulated Closure restrictions, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

ODF increases fire restrictions in central Oregon

[Prineville, Ore.] Beginning at 12:01 a.m. on August 3, 2017 Oregon Department of Forestry’s Central Oregon District will increase restrictions intended to reduce human caused fires.  Hot dry temperatures throughout central Oregon have dried fuels to record levels, making new fire starts difficult to control.  Over the last week fires across the region have challenged firefighters and strained resources.  “We are looking to reduce the potential of any new fires on the landscape,” explains District Forester Mike Shaw, “we strongly encourage you to follow current fire restrictions and be mindful of all activities in the woods.”
 
Activities below are restricted by this closure.  The increased restrictions limit activities such as mowing, chainsaw use and welding between 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. when temperatures are hot and humidity is low.  Additional restrictions and the full proclamation can be accessed at www.Oregon.gov/ODF/Fire/Pages/Restrictions.aspx

Possession of the following firefighting equipment is required while traveling in a motorized vehicle, except on federal and state highways, county roads and driveways: one shovel and one gallon of water or one operational 2½ pound or larger fire extinguisher, except all-terrain vehicles and motorcycles which must be equipped with an approved spark arrestor in good working condition.
Smoking is prohibited while traveling, except in vehicles on improved roads.
Open fires are prohibited, including campfires, charcoal fires, cooking fires and warming fires, except in designated areas.
Chainsaw use is prohibited, between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.  Chainsaw use is permitted at all other hours, if the following firefighting equipment is present with each operating saw: one axe, one shovel, and one operational 8 ounce or larger fire extinguisher.  In addition, a fire watch is required at least one hour following the use of each saw.
Mowing of dried grass with power driven equipment is prohibited, between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., except for the commercial culture and harvest of agricultural crops.
Use of motor vehicles, including motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles, is prohibited, except on improved roads and except for vehicle use by a landowner and employees of the landowner upon their own land while conducting activities associated with their livelihood.
The use of fireworks and blasting is prohibited.

The public is also reminded that the use of tracer ammunition or exploding targets is illegal within the District during fire season.  As of January 1, 2017 sky lanterns and other luminaries are prohibited in Oregon.

Year to date for 2017 human caused fires have accounted for thirty-seven of the fifty-six fires in the Central Oregon District.  Following Regulated Closure restrictions can reduce ignitions and limit damage to our natural resources including air, water, and soil.  For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Wildfire Season and the Great American Eclipse

During the peak of fire season, on August 21st, central Oregon will experience the Great American Eclipse.  The path of totality will cut across Oregon Department of Forestry’s Central Oregon District, impacting each of the three units.  Visitor estimates range greatly, but one thing we are certain of is that there will be an influx of people in the area, typically resulting in an increase in human caused fires.

For the past year the District has been coordinating with our partners in preparation for the event, focusing on what role each entity will fill.  Our partners include federal, state, and local government agencies as well local fire departments and non-governmental organizations.  Working with our partners we will be able to coordinate the response in an efficient manner, and supporting our partners in their efforts as well.  The most important tool we have available right now is communication, both between our partners and with the public.  Currently we are focusing our efforts on fire prevention in hopes that landowners and the public will be vigilant and thoughtful in their activities to reduce human caused wildfires. While we can plan for the eclipse, it is impossible for us to know where a wildfire might occur.  As the time nears we will have more definitive plans based on the conditions and needs that are identified including additional aerial resources and firefighters. 

The Central Oregon District will be participating in the complete and coordinated effort to protect forestland and natural resources throughout fire season.  If you have any questions about fire season restrictions or eclipse preparation in your area please call your local ODF Office:

  • John Day—541-575-1139   
  • Prineville—541-447-5658   
  • The Dalles—541-296-4626
Continue to monitor this site, along with our Twitter Feed (@ODF_COD) and Facebook (facebook.com/ODFCentralOregon) for wildfire information leading up to and during the 2017 Solar Eclipse.

Check out these resources as well from other state agencies who are busy preparing for the eclipse:


Thursday, July 6, 2017

Crews Keep Up Efforts as Grizzly Fire Command Transitions to Local Unit

Contact: Lauren DuRocher, Public Information Officer
                 541-728-3854

Prineville – As high temperatures, low humidity and a red flag warning continue today, crews remain diligent with patrolling and mop up throughout the Grizzly Fire area. The 195 acre fire area was reported at 75% containment last night with firefighters targeting 95% containment by the end of the day. The COFMS Type 3 Incident Management Team is planning to transition command back to the local unit, Oregon Department of Forestry’s Central Oregon District, this evening. Through the weekend, firefighters will continue monitoring and extinguishing any final hot spots.
The Grizzly Fire was reported on Monday July 3rd in the afternoon, burning near Grizzly Mountain Road approximately nine miles northwest of Prineville.  The fire area is on private lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry, Crook County Fire and Rescue, and the Crooked River National Grassland.  The fire is human caused and under investigation.
For up-to-the-minute wildfire information, follow @ODF_COD on Twitter, www.ODFcentraloregon.com or. www.facebook.com/ODFcentraloregon. Information can also be found at http://centralorfireinfo.blogspot.com.   

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Firefighters Continue Mop Up on Grizzly Fire

Contact: Lauren DuRocher, Public Information Officer
                 541-728-3854
 
Prineville– Crews will continue extinguishing hot spots and smoldering areas throughout the Grizzly Fire.  As they work towards full mop up of the fire area, firefighters will continue today focusing on the perimeter and areas around private residences and structures. Yesterday, firefighters were successful at getting water to the southwest section and further securing the fire line. The fire area is estimated at 195 acres and is currently at 50 % containment.

The COFMS Type 3 Incident Management Team took command of the fire Tuesday morning with joint delegation from Crook County Fire and Rescue and Oregon Department of Forestry. The Grizzly Fire was reported around 2 pm Monday afternoon, burning near Grizzly Mountain Road approximately nine miles northwest of Prineville.  The fire area is on private lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry, Crook County Fire and Rescue, and the Crooked River National Grassland.  The fire is human caused and under investigation. All evacuation notices have been lifted by the Crook County Sherriff.

For up-to-the-minute wildfire information, follow @ODF_COD on Twitter, www.ODFcentraloregon.com or. www.facebook.com/ODFcentraloregon. Information can also be found at http://centralorfireinfo.blogspot.com.   

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Crews Make Progress on the Grizzly Fire As Wind Subsides


 
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                              July 4, 2017        

Contact: Lauren DuRocher, Public Information Officer
                 541-728-3854
    

Prineville – Winds subsided last night allowing crews to gain ground on the Grizzly Fire. Firefighting efforts were successful yesterday and no structures have been lost. Crews will continue work today to further secure the containment lines particularly in the southwest section where steep terrain has created some challenges. The fire is approximately 200 acres with interior pockets still burning. All evacuation notices have been lifted by the Crook County.

The COFMS Type 3 Incident Management Team is taking command of the fire this morning with joint delegation from Crook County Fire and Rescue and Oregon Department of Forestry. Additional resources are arriving today to help with continued suppression work and mop up activities. Aerial support is available if needed.

The Grizzly Fire was reported around 2 pm Monday afternoon, burning near Grizzly Mountain Road approximately nine miles northwest of Prineville.  The fire is burning on private lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry, Crook County Fire and Rescue, and the Crooked River National Grassland.  The fire is human caused and under investigation.
For up-to-the-minute wildfire information, follow @ODF_COD on Twitter, www.ODFcentraloregon.com or. www.facebook.com/ODFcentraloregon. Information can also be found at http://centralorfireinfo.blogspot.com.  

Monday, July 3, 2017

Grizzly Fire--Evening Update

[Prineville, Ore.] The Grizzly Fire was reported around 2 pm Monday afternoon, burning near Grizzly Mountain Road approximately nine miles northwest of Prineville.  The fire is burning on private lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry, Crook County Fire and Rescue, BLM Prineville District lands, and the Crooked River National Grassland. Initially reported at fifteen acres, the fire has quickly grown to over 200 acres, burning in cheat grass, sagebrush and juniper.

The Crook County Sheriff has issued a Level 3 Evacuation for approximately twelve residences along Grizzly Mountain Road and a Level 1 Evacuation for an additional twelve homes along McCoin Road. Level 3 Evacuation means EVACUATE immediately, leave NOW.  Level 1 Evacuation means BE READY for the potential of evacuation. 
Resources from the USFS are assisting ODF, BLM Crook County Fire and Rescue, and the Grassland in suppression efforts.  Two task forces of structural engines from the Central Oregon Interface Task Force are working to provide structure protection for homes threatened by the fire.  These task forces are comprised of resources from structural fire departments throughout central Oregon. 
Firefighters will staff the fire during the night, working to flank the fire and hold existing firelines. Currently nine engines, one five person hand crew, three helicopters, four Single Engine Air Tankers, two large air tankers and additional overhead are working to put the fire out.  A local Type 3 interagency Incident Management Team will take control of the fire at 6 a.m. on July 4th.  The cause of the fire is under investigation.
For additional information visit centralorfireinfo.blogspot.com and follow Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center’s Fire Information Twitter feed @centralORfire.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Restrictions for lands protected by ODF in central Oregon increase as fire danger rises

[Prineville, Ore.] Regulated Closure restrictions will take effect Friday, June 30, 2017 at 12:01 a.m. for lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry in central Oregon. These lands include private, municipal and state lands protected by the Central Oregon District. Warm summer temperatures over the last few weeks have dried forest fuels, increasing fire behavior and the potential for rapid fire growth throughout the District. Recent lightning activity has kept firefighters busy, but of greater concern is the increase in human caused fires in the last week. Kiel Nairns, Assistant Unit Forester in The Dalles, explains “Firefighting resources working to put out preventable human caused fires contributes to long term fatigue and could prevent firefighters from being able to respond in a timely manner to some of the lightning fires. These preventable fires also increase unnecessary exposure and risk to our firefighters.” The intent of the Regulated Closure is to reduce human caused fires by restricting high probability activities.
 
Activities below are restricted by this closure. Additional restrictions and the full proclamation can be accessed at www.Oregon.gov/ODF/Fire/Pages/Restrictions.aspx
 
  • Possession of the following firefighting equipment is required while traveling in a motorized vehicle, except on federal and state highways, county roads and driveways: one shovel and one gallon of water or one operational 2½ pound or larger fire extinguisher, except all-terrain vehicles and motorcycles which must be equipped with an approved spark arrestor in good working condition.
  • Smoking is prohibited while traveling, except in vehicles on improved roads.
  • Open fires are prohibited, including campfires, charcoal fires, cooking fires and warming fires, except in designated areas.
  • Chainsaw use is prohibited, between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Chainsaw use is permitted at all other hours, if the following firefighting equipment is present with each operating saw: one axe, one shovel, and one operational 8 ounce or larger fire extinguisher. In addition, a fire watch is required at least one hour following the use of each saw.
  • Mowing of dried grass with power driven equipment is prohibited, between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., except for the commercial culture and harvest of agricultural crops.
  • Use of motor vehicles, including motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles, is prohibited, except on improved roads and except for vehicle use by a landowner and employees of the landowner upon their own land while conducting activities associated with their livelihood.
  • The use of fireworks and blasting is prohibited.
Beginning July 1, 2017 open burning including burn barrels in Hood River and Wasco counties will be prohibited.
 
The public is also reminded that the use of tracer ammunition or exploding targets is illegal within the District during fire season. As of January 1, 2017 sky lanterns and other luminaries are prohibited in Oregon.
 
Year to date for 2017 human caused fires have accounted for two-thirds of the fires in the Central Oregon District. Following Regulated Closure restrictions can reduce ignitions and limit damage to our natural resources including air, water, and soil. For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Fire Season begins in central Oregon for lands protected by Oregon Department of Forestry

[Prineville, Ore.]  Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) Central Oregon District (COD) is implementing fire season at 12:01 am on June 7, 2017.  Good winter snowpack delayed the on-set of fire season compared to recent years, however limited spring precipitation and seasonable temperatures have dried wildland fuels.  Adam Barnes, Prineville Assistant Unit Forester explains, “Following a relatively dry May we are seeing fires becoming resistant to control efforts and requiring additional resources to contain.”  Larger fuels are less susceptible to rain showers and will continue to dry with warmer temperatures, making it more difficult for firefighters to gain a handle on any new fire starts.


Abandoned campfires account for ~10% of all wildfires
 in 2016 in the Central Oregon District. All preventable.
Landowners are encouraged to check burn piles/areas which were burned earlier this spring or late last fall for any hold-over heat.  With implementation of fire season, burn permits issued earlier this spring may not be valid, check with your local ODF office before burning.  Industrial slash and debris burning will no longer be allowed on ODF protected lands.  In addition to these restrictions, logging and other industrial operations must meet requirements for fire prevention, such as fire tools, water supply, and watchman service when those operations are occurring on lands protected by ODF.  Recent changes to these requirements are available at www.oregon.gov/ODF/Fire/pages/FirePrevention.aspx.  Contact your local stewardship forester for more information.

Recreationists are asked to put fire prevention into practice and be deliberate with your actions.  Make sure campfires are DEAD OUT!  Never leave a fire unattended.  Clear the area around your campfire, removing flammable material outside the campfire.  Fully extinguish cigarettes and properly dispose of them.  The public is also reminded that the use of tracer ammunition or exploding targets is illegal within the District during fire season.  As of January 1, 2017 sky lanterns and other luminaries are prohibited in Oregon.

In 2016 human caused fires accounted for 75% of the fires in the Central Oregon District.  Following fire season restrictions and prevention tips can reduce these ignitions and causing less damage to our natural resources including air, water, and soil.  For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, including contact information and unit offices, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Eastern Oregon Regional Forest Practices Committee will meet May 25 in LaGrande

Contact:
Nick Hennemann, Public Affairs Specialist, Salem, 503-910-4311
Kyle Abraham, Deputy Chief Private Forests Division, Salem, 503-945-7473

SALEM, Ore.—The Eastern Oregon Regional Forest Practices Committee will meet Thursday, May 25.

Time:     9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Place:    Oregon Department of Forestry office, 611 20th Street, LaGrande.

Topics the committee will receive updates about and discuss include:
  • The department generally and related legislative work
  • The compliance audit report
  • The E-Notify subscriber project
  • The Eastern Oregon and Siskiyou streamside protection review
  • Industrial fire prevention rule revisions
  • The incentives program
  • Forest health
This is a public meeting, everyone is welcome. The meeting space is accessible to persons with disabilities. Requests for an interpreter for the hearing impaired or other accommodations for persons with disabilities should be made at least 48 hours before the meeting. For more information about attending the meeting please contact Susan Dominique at 503-945-7502.

Regional Forest Practice committees are panels of citizens, mandated under Oregon law, that advise the Board of Forestry on current forestry issues and forest management approaches. Three Regional Forest Practice committees serve the Eastern, Northwest and Southwest regions of the state. They were created by the Oregon Forest Practices Act in 1971. Under Oregon law, a majority of Regional Forest Practice committee members are private forest landowners and logging or forest operations companies. You can find more information at: www.oregon.gov/ODF/Board/Pages/RFPC.aspx.

###
 
The Oregon Department of Forestry was founded in 1911. Today, it serves Oregonians by protecting, managing, and promoting stewardship of Oregon's forests to enhance environmental, economic, and community sustainability. ODF directly manages 800,000 acres of state-owned forestland, including the Clatsop, Santiam, and Tillamook forests in northwest Oregon and the Gilchrist and Sun Pass State forests east of the Cascades. The department’s top priority is to provide fire protection on 16.2 million acres of private and public land. The 13th State Forester is Peter Daugherty, selected by the Board of Forestry in 2016.

Monday, May 1, 2017

New Faces in ODF’s Central Oregon District

[Prineville, Ore.]  Retirements, transfers, and promotions within Oregon Department of Forestry’s Central Oregon District (COD) over the last year created vacancies in Assistant Unit Forester(AUF) positions throughout the District.  These positions were filled with familiar faces from around COD.

In late November 2016 Braden Britt was hired as John Day North AUF.  Braden has worked in COD since 2009 as a seasonal wildland firefighter, including time on the ODF Helitack Crew and as a Forest Officer in the John Day Unit and a developmental assignment as a Forest Officer in The Dalles Unit.  In addition to Braden’s wildland fire experience he is a recent graduate of Oregon State University with a degree in Forest Management with an emphasis in Wildand Fire Management.  Braden’s ties to forestry run deep, as his family still operates the logging business his grandfather started more than forty years ago.


Adam Barnes was selected in January to fill the Prineville AUF job.  Having grown up in Redmond, Adam started his career in Prineville, working as a seasonal firefighter and Forest Officer, before promoting to The Dalles Unit AUF in 2008.  Adam has been a Division Supervisor on ODF’s Incident Management Teams over the past several seasons.

In April Kiel Nairns began as The Dalles AUF Forester.  He started as a seasonal wildland firefighter in 2004, working in Fossil, Prineville, and The Dalles over the years.  Kiel has been the Permanent Forest Officer in The Dalles since 2010, is a Type 2 Wildland Fire Investigator, has taken on development opportunities as a Stewardship Forester in The Dalles and as an AUF in Fossil.  In 2009 Kiel earned a degree in Forest Resources Technology from Central Oregon Community College. 


The experience these three “new” Assistant Unit Foresters bring with them promises to make for a smooth transition looking toward the 2017 wildfire season in the Central Oregon District.  Their enthusiasm for their positions, varied skill sets, hard work ethic, and positive relationships with landowners have set the groundwork for success in their new roles.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Central Oregon District 2016 Annual Report

Central Oregon District has published the 2016 Annual Report.  The report highlights activities within the District including the 2016 Fire Season, Federal Forest Restoration Program, Private Forests and District Administration. 

2016 Central Oregon District Annual Report

Wednesday, April 5, 2017


                                                                
                                         NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING
         
          Pursuant to ORS 477.250, notice is hereby given that a public hearing will be held to receive from any interested persons suggestions, advice, objections or remonstrance’s to the proposed budget for the Central Oregon Forest Protection District.  A hearing will be held on Wednesday, April 19, 2017, at 1:00 P.M., at the Oregon Department of Forestry – District Office, 3501 NE 3rd Street, Prineville, OR. Copies of the tentative budget may be inspected during normal working hours.  To ensure the broadest range of services to individuals with disabilities, persons with disabilities requiring special arrangements should contact 541-447-5658 at least two working days in advance.
                                                            OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FORESTRY
                                                            PETER DAUGHERTY, STATE FORESTER

 

Friday, February 17, 2017

Forestland Classification Finalized in Crook County


Oregon Department of Forestry—Central Oregon District
Contact:  Gordon Foster, Prineville Unit Forester (541)447-5658
February 17, 2017
 
Prineville, Ore.—On February 6, 2016 the Crook County Forestland Classification Committee voted unanimously to accept the preliminary classification as final.  This preliminary classification included suggested edits from landowner review at public meetings in January and on-site visits with committee members.  All suggested edits to the draft classification were reviewed by the committee prior to adopting the preliminary data as final. 

The final classification was filed with the Crook County Clerk, Cheryl Seely on February 17, 2017.  This filing initiates the thirty day appeal period for the classification.  As per ORS 526.332 any landowner who is aggrieved by the classification may appeal to the Crook County Circuit Court.  By definition “forestland” is any woodland, brushland, timberland, grazing land or clearing that, during any time of the year, contains enough forest growth, slashing or vegetation to constitute, in the judgement of the forester, a fire hazard, regardless of how the land is zoned or taxed (ORS 526.005 (6)(a)).  ORS 526.324 further classifies “forestland” in eastern Oregon into Class 2 (timber and grazing class) and Class 3 (grazing and agricultural use).  The Crook County Forestland Classification Committee has met regularly over the past four years to review and refine the criteria used to update the Forestland Classification in the county.
The committee consists of Tim Deboodt—Chairman (Oregon State University Extension Representative), Kristin Dodd—Secretary (Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) Representative), Chuck McGrath (County Grazing Representative), Casey Kump (Oregon State Fire Marshall Representative), John Morgan (County Timber Representative), and Ken Fahlgren (County At-Large Member).  The committee has focused on equity and fairness for all landowners within the county as part of the complete and coordinated fire protection system.  Oregon statute require lands within the county be periodically reviewed for accuracy and changes to the vegetation.  The current classification of lands within Crook county updates classification that was previously conducted in the mid-1970’s

Current revisions to the classification includes all lands in Crook County within ODF’s Central Oregon Protection District Boundary and improved accuracy of the classification due to better technology and newer data. 
Beginning July 1, 2017 all Class 2 and Class 3 forestland in Crook County will be included in ODF’s Forest Patrol and will have wildland fire protection provided by ODF’s Central Oregon District.  ODF is part of the complete and coordinated fire protection system which includes local, rural, county, state, and federal resources.  Landowners who receive this service will see a Forest Patrol Assessment on their Crook County Tax Statement later this fall.  The per acre assessment rate is based on a level of service determined by ODF with approval and oversight from Eastern Oregon Forest Protective Association and a District Budget Committee made up of local landowners from each of the counties in the District.  The rate is determined each spring after the budgeting process.  The 2016 rate was $2.1373 per acre for Class 2 (timber) forestland and $.7897 per acre for Class 3 (grazing and agricultural use) forestland.  There is a minimum assessment of $18.75 per taxlot with classified forestland.

Specific classification acres by taxlot can be viewed at the Crook County Clerk’s Office or by contacting Gordon Foster, Prineville Unit Forester, at the Prineville ODF Office.  The office is located at 3501 E Third Street in Prineville.  Additional questions or requests for information should be directed to Gordon Foster, (541)447-5658.
 

Monday, January 30, 2017

Crook County Forestland Classification Committee

Date: 1/30/2017
News Release – For Immediate Release
Contact: Kristin Dodd, ODF (541)296-4626
 
Crook County Forestland Classification Committee

-Public Meeting-
 
The Crook County Forestland Classification Committee has called a public meeting at the following time and location.
 
TIME:                                 10:00 - 1:00 P.M. Monday February 6, 2017

LOCATION:                       COCC Open Campus Conference Room
                                             510 SE Lynn Blvd
                                             Prineville, Oregon 97754 

The purpose of this meeting is to convene the Crook County Forestland Classification Committee to review public testimony received, incorporate necessary changes to the draft Forestland Classification data, and finalize the data for filing with the Crook County Clerk per ORS 526.328(2).  Once filed, per ORS 526.332, aggrieved landowners have 30 days to appeal to the Crook County Circuit Court. 

Kristin Dodd
Secretary, Crook County
Forestland Classification Committee

Friday, January 27, 2017

Crook County Forestland Classification Public Hearing Info

In case you missed the Crook County Forestland Classification Public Hearing you can listen to the testimony provided at the link below. 

Listen Here

The Public Hearing Officer Report and Written Testimony can be viewed at this link:

Public Hearing Officer Report

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

New Year brings changes to leadership in central Oregon for ODF


David Jacobs, Recently retired Unit Forester in The Dalles Unit
[The Dalles, Ore.]  In December, David Jacobs, Central Oregon District’s (COD) long time Unit Forester in The Dalles, retired after thirty-five fire seasons with the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF).  Many landowners and cooperators don’t remember a time when David wasn’t an integral part of the wildfire protection program. Throughout his tenure David has provided leadership during intense and difficult fire seasons, participated on ODF’s Incident Management Teams statewide, and worked with landowners on complex forestry issues in Wasco and Hood River counties.  David will be missed by his “COD Family”. 
Kristin Dodd, Unit Forester in The Dalles Unit.
Kristin Dodd will fill The Dalles Unit Forester postion vacated by David’s retirement.  Kristin is a familiar face to many, having been COD’s Assistant District Forester and most recently Unit Forester in the Prineville-Sisters Unit.  The quick smile and enthusiasm for her job will draw many to Kristin, but her dedication, attention to detail, and highly developed skills will be what folks remember.  Kristin has worked for ODF since 1998, and in COD for the last  eight plus years.  Since starting with ODF Kristin has worked on a forest practices monitoring crew, been a Stewardship Forester, served short term in various positions in State Lands, Salem Staff, and other roles in the agency, in addition to her Unit Forester and Assistant District Forester experience here in COD.  She is also a a  member of ODF Incident Management Team 3.  Kristin is excited to make The Dalles her home with her husband John.


Gordon Foster, new Prineville-Sisters Unit Forester
[Prineville, Ore.]  Gordon Foster was selected as the new Prineville-Sisters Unit Forester.  Gordon’s diverse background includes working as a Forestry Aid, Forest Officer, Assistant Center Manager at Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center, engine crew member, and protection supervisor, recently celebrating twenty-five years with ODF.  He has been COD’s Prineville Wildland Fire Supervisor since 2003, and is currently a member of Central Oregon’s Interagency Incident Management Team. As Prineville Wildland Fire Supervisor Gordon has built great relationships with landowners and cooperators in the Prineville-Sisters Unit and those will continue to serve him well as Unit Forester.