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.

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