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

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  In the John Day and Prineville units the Additional Restrictions Order has been rescinded.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.

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