FIRE RESTRICTIONS: - Fire Season terminated as of September 26, 2019
FIRE RESTRICTIONS: - Regulated Closure terminated as of September 16, 2019
MH1 and MH4 IFPL: - IFPL no longer in effect as of September 26, 2019

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Hood River and Wasco counties Reconvene Forestland Classification Committee


[The Dalles, Ore]  The Hood River-Wasco counties Forestland Classification Committee will be reconvening to review and update forestland classification within Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) Central Oregon District, The Dalles Unit.  As required by ORS 526.320 the committee will review existing forestland classification, last updated in 2012, and make appropriate changes.  The committee will meet December 18, 2019 at 1785 Meyer Pkwy, Hood River, OR 97031, at 2:00 P.M.  The meeting is open to the public. 
The seven members of the committee are appointed by Hood River and Wasco counties’ Board of Commissioners (four members), Oregon State Fire Marshal’s office, Oregon State University Extension Service, and Oregon Department of Forestry. 
Committee members include:
·        Kristin Dodd, Oregon Department of Forestry Representative
·        Doug Thiesies, Hood River County Forester, Forestland Representative
·        Paul Jones, Hood River County Representative, Forestland Owner
·        Steve Kramer, Wasco County Commissioner, At-Large Member
·        Dave Anderson, City of The Dalles, Wasco County Forestland Representative
·        Glenn Ahrens, OSU Extension Service Representative
·        Jim Trammel, Oregon State Fire Marshal Representative
Forestland classification is the process by which the committee will review the criteria used to classify forestland within the counties and determine any appropriate changes to the criteria based on current Statutes and Rules for Oregon.  By statute (ORS526.324) forestland includes lands suitable for growing timber, grazing of livestock, or a combination of timber and grazing. The committee will then apply the criteria to non-federal lands in Hood River and Wasco counties, classifying the lands as timber, grazing, or joint use.
Forestland within ODF’s Central Oregon District Boundary is assigned a Forest Patrol Assessment that is reflected on a landowner’s county tax statement.  This assessment pays for ODF’s wildfire protection for these lands.
The committee will spend the next several months reviewing the previous criteria used and revising the existing classification, where warranted.  When edits are complete, a draft of the designated forestland classification will be presented to the public at informational meetings and at a public hearing where landowners can provide testimony to the committee. Upon adoption of the final classification with each county Clerk, Forest Patrol Assessment will be updated for landowners in Wasco and Hood River counties for the upcoming tax year. 
For additional information on forestland classification processes or ODF’s Central Oregon District, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Fire Season Ends for Oregon Department of Forestry’s Central Oregon District


[Prineville, Ore]  Recent cool temperatures and precipitation have brought an end to the 2019 fire season for Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) Central Oregon District.  At 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, September 26, 2019 fire season will officially be terminated.  Wildland fuels across the District do not pose a significant risk of rapid fire growth, however weather and fuel conditions during the fall can change quickly.  The public is reminded to follow all local burning restrictions to reduce the risk of escaped debris burns.
“We still want everyone to be careful with their burning, and to follow recommendations and restrictions,” reminds Kristin Dodd, Unit Forester in The Dalles.  “Terminating fire season doesn’t mean fire won’t burn, especially on dry windy days.”
Landowners who plan to burn industrial logging slash, fuel reduction or defensible space materials, or other debris from forest activities should contact their local ODF Office to obtain a burn permit.  Burning of yard debris or burn barrels should follow fire department restrictions and do not require a permit from ODF.  

On THE DALLES UNIT (Hood River and Wasco counties)—Yard debris (small piles) and burn barrels are allowed from dawn until 11:00 a.m.  Burn permits are required by ODF or the local fire district.  Please call for details to obtain a permit.
On PRINEVILLE-SISTERS and JOHN DAY UNITS—Contact your local fire department for information regarding yard debris and burn barrels.
Fires should never be left unattended.  A shovel and water source on site are recommended when burning, even small piles.  Landowners may be liable for fires which escape.    
Firefighters within the Central Oregon District responded to 126 fires across the 2.3 million protected acres, burning just over 230 acres year-to-date.  The ten-year average for acres burned within the District is over 8,000 acres annually. The small number of acres burned in 2019 can be attributed to the quick, coordinated response of firefighting resources, wet thunderstorms, and a more moderate fire season across the region allowing more resources to be available for initial attack and extended attack for suppression efforts.  Human ignitions accounted for 49 fires, with 77 fires attributed to lightning. 
For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, including contact information and unit offices, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Regulated-Use Closure Terminated for Private Lands in Central Oregon District


[Prineville, Ore]  Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) has terminated Regulated-Use Closure for lands within the Central Oregon District (COD) effective 12:01 a.m.  September 16, 2019.  Lands affected include private, county, and municipal ownership inside the Central Oregon District Protection Boundary within the following counties:  Wasco, Hood River, Wheeler, Sherman, Umatilla, Grant, Morrow, Harney, Gilliam, Jefferson, Lake, Crook, and Deschutes.  While campfires will be allowed with owner permission inside the District, Rob Pentzer, District Forester for COD, reminds the public “Conditions can change rapidly in the fall and a fire should never be left unattended.  Be sure your fire is DEAD-OUT before you leave.”  Check for local county or fire department restrictions and burn bans before lighting a campfire or traveling off-road.
Fire season remains in effect for the Central Oregon District.  Cool temperatures and typical fall weather have reduced fire danger in wildland fuels and the potential for large fire growth is diminished.  However wind quickly dries fuels even following rain and changing weather and fuel conditions can result in unexpected fire spread.  Please use caution and respect fire season restrictions.  Open burning, including yard debris is prohibited during fire season.  Fuel and weather conditions will continue to be monitored. 
Industrial Fire Precaution Level for MH-1 and MH-4 for Wasco and Hood River counties remains at Level 1.   
For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, including contact information and unit offices, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Fire Prevention Restrictions Reduced for Private Lands in ODF’s Central Oregon District


[Prineville, Ore]  Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) is reducing fire prevention restrictions for lands within the Central Oregon District beginning at 12:01 a.m. on September 5, 2019.  Lands affected include private, county, and municipal lands inside the Central Oregon District Protection Boundary within the following counties:  Wasco, Hood River, Wheeler, Sherman, Umatilla, Grant, Harney, Gilliam, Jefferson, Lake, Crook, and Deschutes.  The lessened restrictions reflect a reduced potential for large fire growth based on current fuel conditions, improved humidity recovery, shorter burn periods typical in fall, and the current weather forecast for cooler temperatures and increased precipitation.
The reduced restrictions rescinds the Fire Precaution Order (dated August 7, 2019) for industrial forest operations restricting certain harvest machinery and operations within the John Day and Prineville-Sisters Units. Industrial Fire Precaution Level for MH-1 and MH-4 for Wasco and Hood River counties remains at Level 2.   Burn bans and local county or fire department restrictions remain in effect.  High risk activities identified in the Regulated Use Closure will be restricted between 1 p.m. and 8 p.m.  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.
For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, including contact information and unit offices, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Fire Risk Not Diminished by Recent Rains


[Prineville, Ore]  Fire season remains in effect for lands protected by Oregon Department of Forestry’s Central Oregon District despite recent rains and cooler temperatures.  A Regulated Use Closure restricting activities with an increased risk of ignition is also in effect for the District.  Rain from earlier this week has not reduced the risk of large fire growth.  Fire managers continue to monitor fuels and evaluate conditions for fire danger.  “While we haven’t seen the wildfire activity in central Oregon like we have in recent years, we need everyone to remember it’s still August and there is significant warm dry weather ahead of us,” reminds Gordon Foster, Prineville-Sisters Unit Forester. 
Open burning, including debris burning is not allowed within the District.  Cover debris piles for burning later in the fall after significant rainfall, outside of fire season.  The weather forecast call for warmer weather in the coming days, which will quickly dry fuels dampened by the rain. 
As part of the Regulated Use Closure campfires are not allowed on lands protected by ODF unless in a designated location.  With archery season beginning Saturday, hunters should know the current restrictions before heading to their favorite hunting spot. Hunters should be prepared for cool conditions and remember that warming fires are prohibited.
Activities below are restricted by the Regulated 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.
·      Mowing dried grass with power driven equipment is prohibited, between 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., except for the commercial culture/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 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.
The specific time restrictions and activities can be found at www.ODFcentraloregon.com.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Oregon Department of Forestry successful in initial attack of lightning fires


[Prineville, Oregon]  Eastern Oregon received over 13,000 lightning strikes as numerous thunderstorms moved across eastern Oregon in the last ten days.  Firefighters have taken action on seventy fires across the six million acres of land protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) and Walker Range Forest Patrol in the Eastern Oregon Area.  Of these seventy fires only one grew larger than ten acres, and the majority were suppressed as single trees or less than a tenth of an acre.  ODF firefighters also assisted federal partners and rural fire departments with fires on their jurisdictions to limit fires across the landscape.  Jamie Paul, Eastern Oregon Area Assistant Director, praised Area fire crews for their efforts and hard work, “Responding to so many fires in such a short time period, and keeping them small demonstrates how dedicated and aggressive ODF firefighters are to initial attack fire suppression.” 

In anticipation of these thunderstorms additional resources were requested to support the District and Association personnel.   These resources included engines from local rural fire departments, the Oregon Military Department, and ODF in western Oregon, as well as contract bull dozers. In addition to District and Association staffing and these move-up resources, severity aircraft specially funded by the Oregon Legislature were instrumental in the success of initial attack during this lightning event.  These aircraft, include single engine air tankers, a heli-tack platform capable of delivering firefighters with gear quickly to remote fires, and helicopters capable of dropping water to cool hotspots so that ground troops have time to engage.

Reconnaissance planes and spotters were effective in finding fires immediately following the storms, and were utilized to provide intelligence back to fire managers and crews as they navigated into the fires.  Detection cameras across Eastern Oregon Area are manned with specialized lookouts trained to spot and locate fires through this remote technology. In the Central Oregon District, detection camera operators were responsible for discovery of approximately 20% of the fires in the District during this lightning event.  These early detections allow firefighters to take action quickly while the fires are still small, reducing exposure for firefighters and damage to natural resources as well as financial impacts to landowners and Oregonians.  
  
In addition to the fires on ODF protected lands Rangeland Fire Protection Associations, volunteer firefighting entities in Central and Eastern Oregon’s high desert and range country, suppressed more than thirty fires during this time period.

Year to date there have been 114 lightning fires in the Eastern Oregon Area burning just over 1,300 acres compared to the ten year average of 107 fires burning just over 12,000 acres.  91 human caused fires have burned 374 acres year to date for 2019 compared to 102 fires burning 2,630 acres for the ten year average.

The Eastern Oregon Area (EOA) is comprised of three forest protection districts, one operating forest protective association, twenty-four rangeland fire protection associations, and two state forests.   

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Increased Restrictions for Lands Protected by Oregon Department of Forestry


[Prineville, Ore]  Oregon Department of Forestry’s Central Oregon District will be increasing restrictions to reduce human caused wildfires at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, August 7, 2019.  Private, state, and municipally owned lands protected by the Central Oregon District in the following counties are affected by these restrictions:  Hood River, Wasco, Gilliam, Wheeler, Grant, Umatilla, Harney, Lake, Deschutes, Jefferson, Crook, and Morrow.  The increased restrictions are being implemented based on current fuel conditions and potential of rapid fire spread, future weather forecasts of high temperatures and the possibility of lightning, and increased initial attack and extended attack activity locally and statewide. 
Activities below are restricted by the Regulated 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 dried grass with power driven equipment is prohibited, between 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., except for the commercial culture/harvest of agricultural crops.
·      Cutting, grinding & welding of metal is prohibited between 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m
·      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 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 addition to the Regulated Closure, industrial operations in Hood River and Wasco counties (MH-1 & MH-4) will also move to Industrial Fire Precaution Level 3 on August 7th.  Cable yarding systems and power drive machinery are restricted to reduce potential ignitions.  The specific time restrictions and activities can be found at www.ODFcentraloregon.com.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Industrial Fire Precaution Level 2 for MH-1 and MH-4

Beginning at 12:01 a.m. July 22, 2019 Oregon Department of Forestry's Central Oregon District will increase the Industrial Fire Precaution Level to Level 2 for ODF protected lands in The Dalles Unit.  The lands are within Regulated Use Areas MH-1 and MH-4, located in Hood River and Wasco counties, as depicted on the map.


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:

Limited 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. Feller-bunchers with rotary head saws;
3. Cable yarding
4. Blasting
5. Welding, cutting, or grinding 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.


Saturday, June 29, 2019

Department of Forestry Declares Regulated Use Closure for Central Oregon District


[Prineville, Ore.] Regulated Use closure has been declared for Oregon Department of Forestry’s Central Oregon District beginning at 12:01 a.m. Saturday June 29, 2019.  The closure is intended to reduce wildfires related to high risk activities as wildland fuels dry out.  Lands included in this closure include private, municipal and state owned lands protected by the Central Oregon District, in the following counties:  Crook, Deschutes, Jefferson, Grant, Wheeler, Morrow, Gilliam, Hood River, Lake, Harney, Umatilla, and Wasco.
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, 2019 open burning including burn barrels in Hood River and Wasco counties will be prohibited with the burn ban going into effect. 
The public is also reminded that the use of tracer ammunition or exploding targets is illegal within the District during fire season.  Sky lanterns and other luminaries are prohibited in Oregon.
For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, including contact information and unit offices, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.

1620 Road Fire Update


[Parkdale, Ore.]  Today firefighters on the 80 acre 1620 Road Fire continued efforts mopping-up adjacent to the fireline.  Securing this perimeter ensures that fire will not move outside the line.  The fire is 100% contained, with 95% control. The fire burned primarily within a young timber stand with old logging slash.  There were no structures threatened or destroyed and no injuries were reported on the fire.
Saturday evening the fire was transitioned back to the local unit to continue work mopping-up the interior of the fire.  Firefighters will be gridding for areas of heat working through unburned fuels and removing fire hose and equipment from the fireline.  This work will continue through the beginning of next week.  Once complete the fire will continue to be monitored.  Resources on the fire include contract hand crews and a tender as well as contract and ODF fire engines.
Cooperators who assisted on this fire include a Type 3 organization from Central Oregon Fire Management Service, firefighting resources from Parkdale Fire Department, USFS Mt. Hood National Forest, USFS Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, other ODF Fire Districts, various contractors, and Oregon Department of Corrections.
For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, including contact information and unit offices, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.

Friday, June 28, 2019

1620 Road Fire Update


[Parkdale, Ore.]  Firefighters on the 1620 Road Fire reached 100% containment Thursday after completing handline construction around the spotfire perimeter.  The combined fire acreage is 80 acres.  The fires are 75% controlled and today firefighters will continue to strengthen and secure firelines.  The fire was first reported June 24th burning on private lands west of Parkdale, Oregon.  The cause of the fire is still under investigation at this time.
With completion of the fireline firefighters are turning their efforts to the mop-up process.  Significant unburned fuels and vegetation inside the fire perimeter makes the mop-up process slow and difficult as firefighters must work through all the material to ensure there is no hidden heat or flame.  Firefighters will mop-up the entire interior of the fire.  This mop-up plan will reduce the possibility of re-ignition of the fire in the future.
The Type 3 organization from Central Oregon Fire Management Service will transition the fire back to the local unit Saturday evening.  Resources on the fire include hand crews and fire engines.  Specific resources assigned to the fire have been pre-identified to support initial attack within the area if there are any new fire starts.
For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, including contact information and unit offices, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

1620 Road Fire Update


[Parkdale, Ore.]  Firefighters on the 1620 Road Fire made significant progress constructing fireline Wednesday and continued to hold the fire within the existing footprint.  Mop-up work adjacent to the fireline continues on portions of the fire where firelines are established and secure.  Firefighters were able to take advantage of increased humidity and wetting rain Wednesday which moderated fire behavior allowing them to focus on line construction.  With the moderated fire behavior firefighters were able to get around the fire perimeter with GPS receivers and have been able to improve the mapping of the fire perimeters.  The combined fire acreage is 80 acres with 75% containment and 50% control.
Today firefighters will continue to construct and secure fireline around the perimeter of the spotfire and mop-up where possible.  Direct fireline is being used to minimize acres burned and loss of resources.  Firefighters will be using a grid pattern to work through both fires as they mop-up to ensure there is no heat or flame within the unburned fuels inside and outside the fire perimeters.
The fire was first reported Monday morning burning on private lands approximately 4 miles west of Parkdale, Oregon.  Late Monday afternoon the fire spotted to the east and became established in a steep draw with difficult access.  Terrain, fuels and weather have challenged firefighters working to construct hand fireline on the spotfire.  The original fire has dozer line and roads securing the perimeter. The cause of the fire is still under investigation at this time.
A Type 3 organization from Central Oregon Fire Management Service is managing the fire.  Resources on the fire include hand crews, fire engines, dozers, and excavators.  A Type 2 helicopter is available as needed. Specific resources assigned to the fire have been pre-identified to support initial attack within the area if there are any new fire starts.
For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, including contact information and unit offices, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

1620 Road Fire Update


[Parkdale, Ore.]  Firefighters on the 1620 Road Fire were challenged Tuesday by moderate winds, steep terrain, and thick fuels.  The fire was held within its existing footprint using air resources to drop water and retardant to check fire growth supporting the ground crews.  The combined fire acreage is 85 acres with 20% containment and 10% control.
The original fire is fully lined by roads and dozer line.  Yesterday firefighters completed “plumbing” this portion of the fire.  Plumbing includes assembling fire hose around the fire perimeter to be used for mop-up.  Mop-up for this part of the fire will begin today, firefighters will methodically work through the fire looking for heat and flames to limit any potential for the fire to spread or move outside the fireline.     
Today crews will be continuing construction of handline around the spotfire to the east.  Constructing fireline in these areas is an arduous process due to the difficult terrain and fuels.  Firefighters are continuing to secure portions of the fire and strengthening the existing lines.  Variation in fuel conditions within the fire perimeter is resulting in unburned vegetation inside the line.  This unburned fuel makes suppression more difficult as the firefighters work through focusing on open flame and heat.
A Type 3 organization from Central Oregon Fire Management Service is managing the fire.  Resources on the fire include hand crews, fire engines, dozers, and excavators.  Heavy air tankers, fireboss scoopers, a Type 1 helicopter and a Type 2 helicopter are available as needed.
The weather for today includes the possibility of thunderstorms with strong gusty winds over the fire area, with a chance of wetting rain.  Lightning and the associated stormy conditions may cause aircraft to be grounded until the storm passes.  Specific resources assigned to the fire have been pre-identified to support initial attack within the area around the fire if these storms cause any new fire starts.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation at this time.
For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, including contact information and unit offices, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

1620 Road Fire Evening Update


[Parkdale, Ore]  Firefighters continued to make progress today on the 1620 Road Fire located four miles west of Parkdale.  The fire was originally reported Monday morning burning in brush, timber, and young timber on privately owned land.  Today’s focus was to strengthen existing firelines and mop-up within the interior of the original fire.  Firefighters continued to construct handline on the spotfire to the east of the original fire.  A heavy air tanker, two fireboss scoopers, and a Type 2 helicopter, and a Type 1 helicopter provided support to the firefighters, cooling hot areas for direct line construction adjacent to the fire’s edge.  The combined acreage for the fires remains at 85 acres, with 20% containment and 10% control.  This afternoon precipitation fell on the fire as thunderstorms moved through the area.
Tonight firefighters will be used to monitor fire behavior and patrol the fire for any fire movement outside the fireline.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation at this time.
For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, including contact information and unit offices, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.

1620 Road Fire

[Parkdale, Ore]  The 1620 Road Fire was reported Monday morning June 24th burning in brush, slash and young timber on private land approximately four miles west of Parkdale, Oregon.  Throughout Monday, resources from Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) Central Oregon District were assisted by firefighters from Parkdale Fire Department, USFS Mt. Hood National Forest, USFS Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, and Washington Department of Natural Resources.  Jackpots of slash and increasing afternoon winds challenged firefighters yesterday.  Fire behavior included creeping, spotting and single tree torching.
A spot fire was detected Monday afternoon burning in a draw to the east of the main fire.  The spot fire was burning in dense vegetation and less accessible terrain, quickly growing in size.  Currently the combined acreage for the two fires is estimated at 85 acres. The fires are 35% lined and 10% contained.   No structures are threatened or have been destroyed, and there have been no firefighter injuries reported.
Overnight firefighters worked to complete line around the original fire perimeter using dozers and existing roads. Handline construction started around the larger spotfire, and this work will continue on Tuesday.   A Type 3 organization was in-briefed Tuesday morning and will take command of the fire to provide additional support to firefighters and resources.  This organization will be used to manage the additional resources which have been ordered for suppression efforts.  Overnight two 20 person crews, two five person crews, an engine, a dozer, an excavator and additional overhead staffed the fire.  Today the fire will be staffed by six 20 person crews, five engines, three tenders, two dozers, an excavator and overhead to manage the resources. Aerial resources available to support ground operations today include two fireboss scooper planes, two heavy air tankers, a Type 2 helicopter, and a Type 1 helicopter.    
Firefighter and public safety are the priority for the incident.  Today’s objectives for firefighters is to hold and secure existing firelines along the perimeter of the fire and begin mop-up on the secured lines.  Direct line construction will be used where possible to minimize acres burned and damage to natural resources. 
The cause of the fire is still under investigation at this time.
For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, including contact information and unit offices, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Fire Season Begins for ODF Protected Lands in Central Oregon


[Prineville, Ore.]  Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) Central Oregon District will implement Fire Season Monday June 10, 2019 at 12:01 a.m.  The Central Oregon District includes approximately 2.3 million acres of private, state, and municipally owned forestland throughout central Oregon.  Fire Season declaration heightens awareness of increasing hazardous fuel conditions and fire growth potential in wildland fuels.  “Late May rain really helped reduce the fire risk in our fuels but the recent warming trend is quickly drying fuels again and with limited moisture in the forecast it is unlikely that the risk will drop again.” states Rob Pentzer, District Forester for Central Oregon. Fire season in the District typically starts early to mid-June based on current conditions and forecasted weather.  In 2018 June 1st marked the start of fire season.
With the implementation of fire season, 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.  In addition to fire season restrictions, Industrial Fire Precaution Level 1 (IFPL) will be in effect for lands protected by ODF in Hood River and Wasco counties.  Details for fire season and IFPL requirements are available at www.oregon.gov/ODF/Fire/pages/FirePrevention.aspx, or contact your local Department of Forestry office for more information.
Campfires are currently still allowed, but should be DEAD OUT! and cool to the touch when you leave.  The use of tracer ammunition and exploding targets is prohibited during fire season.  Sky lanterns and other luminaries are prohibited at all times in Oregon.
Year to date for 2019 there have been fourteen human caused fires burning more than fifteen acres within the District.  Nine of these fires are linked to escape debris burns.  Landowners who burned earlier this winter or spring should check their burn piles and verify there is no longer heat in the burned area.  Burn barrels are allowed by permit in The Dalles Unit (Wasco and Hood River counties) until 11:00 a.m. through June 30th.  However open burning is no longer permitted across the District.  
For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, including contact information and unit offices, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Bridge Drive Fire Update--Final


[La Pine, Ore.]  Today firefighters completed mop-up on the Bridge Drive Fire located in the Lazy River Sub-Division north of LaPine, Oregon.  The fire was reported at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 8th burning in small Ponderosa Pine, brush and grass.  Warm temperatures, low humidity, and dry fuel conditions caused the fire to quickly grow within a few hours to 11.9 acres before firefighters were able to control the spread.  The cause of the fire was determined to be a backyard debris burn. 
Firefighters will continue to patrol the fire area over the weekend.  Oregon Department of Forestry was assisted by Deschutes National Forest, Bureau of Land Management, Redmond Hot Shots, LaPine Rural Fire Department, Walker Range Fire Patrol, and numerous structural agencies from the area in the suppression and mop-up effort. 
The Deschutes County Sheriff implemented Level 3 evacuations for the area around the fire during initial attack.  One home was destroyed by the fire.  All evacuation levels have been lifted at this time. 
When burning always have fire tools and water present.  Consider no burn options such as chipping or off-site disposal when cleaning up yard debris or material from fuel reduction projects.  A landowner who is found to be negligent while burning may be held responsible for suppression costs as well as be subject to citations.  Open burning may be banned in some areas as weather warms and fire growth potential increases.  Check with your local fire department or Oregon Department of Forestry before conducting debris burning.  If you burned earlier this spring or winter check your burn area to make sure it is cool to the touch.  As weather warms burn piles can sometimes rekindle and ignite surrounding fuels.
May is Wildfire Awareness Month.  Take the time now to prepare you and your family for a wildfire.  These steps can include developing an evacuation plan, creating defensible space around your home, changing air filters within your home to help reduce smoke impacts, and finding ways to keep up to date with restrictions and prevention measures in your community. 
For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, including contact information, burn permit requests, and local Unit offices, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Bridge Drive Fire--Update


[La Pine, Ore.]  Mop-up continues today on the ~12 acres Bridge Drive Fire located north of La Pine in the Lazy River sub-division.  Firefighters are working within the perimeter to extinguish areas of heat and look for burning and smoldering material.  The fire is located with the urban interface with several homes inside the fire perimeter.  Overnight the firelines held and this morning mop-up is 20% complete.  One primary residence was destroyed by the fire yesterday afternoon.  Today’s resources include the Redmond Hot Shots, seven engines, a water tender, and several miscellaneous overhead.
The cause of the fire was determined to be a backyard debris burn.  Always have fire tools such as a shovel and water source on site while you are burning.  Clear the area around your fire to mineral soil before ignition.  If your fire gets out of control immediately report it to 911.   A landowner who is found to be negligent while burning may be held responsible for suppression costs as well as be subject to citations.
Predicted weather patterns for the next several days increase the risk of escaped debris burns.  Consider using a no burn option for disposing of yard debris or other vegetation, or wait until the weather is better for burning.  Some no burn options include chipping or transporting the material to a disposal site.  Open burning may be banned in some areas as this warm, dry weather passes through.  Check with your local fire department or Oregon Department of Forestry before conducting debris burning.
May is Wildfire Awareness Month.  Take the time now to prepare you and your family for a wildfire.  These steps can include developing an evacuation plan, creating defensible space around your home, changing air filters within your home to help reduce smoke impacts, and finding ways to keep up to date with restrictions and prevention measures in your community. 
For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, including contact information, burn permit requests, and local Unit offices, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Bridge Drive Fire


[La Pine, Ore.]  Firefighters were dispatched around 2:30 p.m. today to a wildfire burning just north of La Pine, on private land in the Lazy River Sub-division.  The fire burned through small timber, brush and grass.  Observed fire behavior included single tree and group tree torching as well as the fire spotting ahead, causing rapid fire growth.  The fire was caught early this evening, using dozers and roads as firelines.  Firefighters continue to work mopping-up areas of heat and flame inside the fireline to limit potential of fire moving outside the line or igniting unburned vegetation inside the perimeter.  The fire was mapped at 11.9 acres. 
Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) and LaPine Rural Fire Department are in Unified Command of the fire.  Resources involved in the suppression effort included two structural task forces from Deschutes County, eight wildland fire engines from Deschutes National Forest, Walker Range Fire Patrol, and the Oregon Department of Forestry, Redmond Hot Shots, a hand crew from ODF, Air Attack, miscellaneous overhead, and structural resources from La Pine Rural Fire Department.  A dozer from Walker Range Fire Patrol was utilized for fireline construction. 
The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office implemented Level 3 Evacuations (GO NOW) for areas near the fire as well as road closures for public safety.  These evacuations have since been reduced to Level 1 (BE READY).  One primary structure was destroyed by the fire.  The cause of the fire is under investigation.
The extended forecast for the remainder of the week through the weekend for central Oregon is for warming temperatures and reduced humidity.  These unseasonably warm, dry conditions increase the risk of fire growth at a more rapid rate than we have seen so far this spring.  Fires should never be left unattended, this includes burn barrels, debris burns, and campfires.  If you burned earlier this spring revisit the area and make sure the pile (or remnant) is cool to the touch.  Have fire tools such as a shovel, hose, or water bucket readily available near your fire.  Always fully extinguish any cigarettes and properly dispose of butts.  Use caution when welding or cutting metal, or mowing dried vegetation.  Following these guidelines significantly reduces the potential of accidental ignition or fire spread.  Open burning may be banned in some areas as this warm, dry weather passes through.  Check with your local fire department or Oregon Department of Forestry before conducting debris burning.
For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, including contact information, burn permit requests, and local Unit offices, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Notice of District Budget Hearing

                                                                           
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 Thursday, April 18, 2019, 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

Monday, February 11, 2019

The Dalles Office Closed


Snow and inclement weather in the Columbia River Gorge has closed the Department of Forestry Office in The Dalles this afternoon.

For updates on closures for State Offices and buildings visit:

www.oregon.gov/das/Pages/buildingclosure.aspx




Friday, January 18, 2019

Forestland Classification Filed with Deschutes County Clerk


[Bend, Ore.]  The Deschutes County Forestland Classification Committee adopted final classifications for forestland in Deschutes County on January 7, 2019. Prior to adoption the committee discussed the public hearing and public meetings held in December and reviewed the Hearings Officer Report.  Committee secretary Gordon Foster, Prineville-Sisters Unit Forester of the Oregon Department of Forestry, filed the written order with the Deschutes County Clerk’s Office January 17, 2019.  Included in this filing is a list of taxlots with associated Class 2(timber & grazing) and Class 3 (grazing) acreages.
As per Oregon Revised Statute 526.332 any landowner who is aggrieved by the classification may, within thirty days, appeal to the Deschutes County Circuit Court.  Notice of the appeal shall also be served on the secretary of the committee in care of Oregon Department of Forestry, 3501 NE 3rd Street / PO BOX 670, Prineville, OR 97754. 
The written order, finding of fact, and searchable list of taxlots can be found online at www.ODFcentraloregon.com.
Committee members have spent several years establishing the criteria for the classifications based on conditions such as site productivity, current stocking, species, natural features, climate, topography, extent of fire hazards and other physical, social and economic conditions.  Classification of forestland across the county was reviewed by the committee based on this criteria and the appropriate classification applied.  The applicable criteria and other information regarding forestland classification can be found on the Forestland Classification page on the Central Oregon District website (www.ODFcentraloregon.com).  Questions regarding forestland classification should be directed to Gordon Foster (541-447-5658).
Classification Committee Members:
Ed Keith, County Representative (committee chair)
Gordon Foster, ODF Representative (committee secretary)
Nicole Strong, OSU Extension Representative
Jeremy Ast, State Fire Marshall Representative
Bill Swarts, Timberland Representative
Matt Cyrus, Grazing land Representative
For additional information about forestland classification please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.


Searchable List of Taxlots and Classified Acres  (Use ctrl F in the PDF to access the search bar)

Written Order and Finding of Fact Filed With Deschutes County Clerk