FIRE RESTRICTIONS: - Fire Season in effect
FIRE RESTRICTIONS: - Regulated Closure not in effect
IFPL Map MH1 IFPL: - IFPL 1 in effect MH4 IFPL: - IFPL 1 in effect
ADDITIONAL INDUSTRIAL FIRE PRECAUTIONS: - Not in effect

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Fire Season Declared for ODF Protection in Central Oregon


[Prineville, Ore.]  Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) Central Oregon District will enter Fire Season June 1, 2020 at 12:01 a.m.   This affects private, county, state, and local government lands within the District Boundary.  Summer weather patterns continue to dry wildland fuels and increase the risk for fire spread, these weather patterns also bring the risk of lightning and increase fire activity in the area.  Fire season declaration is intended to reduce human fire starts by restricting some activities related to forest operations and open burning.
“When the District enters fire season it highlights the change of wildland fuel and weather patterns”, explains Rob Pentzer, Acting District Forester.  “It is an indicator to our landowners, operators, and the public that we are trending toward warm, dry weather and we need to change our actions to reduce any potential starts and prevent fires when we can.”
The fire season declaration restricts the use of tracer ammunition and exploding targets within the District, as well as the use of blasting materials.  Smoking while working or traveling through forest operations is also prohibited.  Luminaries (sky lanterns) are always prohibited in Oregon.
All open burning within the Central Oregon District Protection Boundary requires a permit during fire season.  Landowners who burned earlier this spring should check their piles to ensure there is no heat or flames, recent warm temperatures can rekindle these burns if any fire remains.  When checking piles use a shovel to stir the ashes and feel below the surface for heat.  Use water and dirt to extinguish any remaining heat.  Check for local restrictions regarding open burning, as some local governments and fire departments have implemented additional burn bans.
These restrictions do not apply to campfires, however following safe burning practices will decrease the risk of fire spread.  Always make sure your campfire is DEADOUT! before leaving the area and never leave a fire unattended.
In addition to the fire season declaration Industrial Fire Precaution Level 1 will be in effect for regulated use areas MH-1 and MH-4 (Wasco and Hood River counties).  All forest operations should have appropriate fire equipment and perform a fire watch, details for these rules are available at  www.oregon.gov/odf/Fire/Documents/2019%20Fire%20Season%20Requirements.pdf.  Stewardship Foresters from local units within Central Oregon District can provide additional guidance as needed. 
ODF’s Central Oregon District continues to serve landowners and the public as an essential service for Oregonians.  Please call or email to talk with our staff or schedule an appointment.  For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, including contact information and unit offices, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Check Your Burn Piles!!

This letter recently went out to landowners/operators in the Prineville Unit, but the message is valuable for landowners across the region who may have burned debris or other material.  As the temperatures warm there is potential for any remaining heat or flame to rekindle.

Dear Landowner or Operator,

This letter is a reminder to check your burn piles to ensure that they are DEAD OUT.

Burn piles can smolder for several months, even though there may not be any visible smoke or flame. As the weather gets warmer and drier, burning in the piles becomes more active. With a little wind, fire can spread from the pile to the surrounding land. In Oregon, fires from hold-over pile burns have destroyed hundreds of acres of valuable timber and other resources. In addition, these fires have cost the landowners and the Department of Forestry hundreds of thousands of dollars to extinguish. It is very important that you make sure your burn piles are completely extinguished.

If you have done any pile burning this past season, please physically check those piles as soon as possible for hold-over heat. Use a shovel or other equipment to dig down through the ashes until you hit the soil underneath. Touch the burned fuels and soil. If they are warm to the touch, this is a sign that material is still burning. If you find piles that are still burning, completely extinguish them. ODF is willing to bring thermal cameras to your site to verify extinguishment, as a courtesy.

With the current weather conditions, we are fast approaching another record breaking fire season. With your help we can eliminate some of the potential wildfires for this coming year.

If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact your local ODF office: Sisters 541-549-2731 or Prineville 541-447-5658

Thank you very much for your cooperation.

Prineville-Sisters Unit

Friday, May 15, 2020

Debris Burning Closure Coming Soon for ODF Protection in Wasco County


[The Dalles, Ore]  In coordination with Wasco County and the County Fire Defense Board, The Dalles Unit of the Oregon Department of Forestry is prohibiting open burning within the Central Oregon District Boundary in Wasco County beginning June 1, 2020.  Low snow pack and limited spring moisture have contributed to unseasonably dry wildland fuel conditions.  These conditions have prompted fire managers to implement the annual burn ban a month earlier for lands in Wasco County. 
Recent precipitation will provide a short reprieve from the increasing fire hazard, but as weather returns to normal patterns fuel moisture will rapidly decrease.  “We’d really like to see landowners take advantage of the recent rain and the next few days of storms to complete any debris burning before warm, dry weather returns,” explains Kiel Nairns, Wildland Fire Supervisor for The Dalles Unit. 
Landowners choosing to burn in coming days are reminded to use appropriate safe burning practices such as clearing the area around any debris piles prior to lighting, have tools such as water and a shovel on site while burning, never leave a fire unattended, and check your burn area in the days and weeks after you burn.  Burning of logging slash and debris from forest operations is not allowed at this time.  These burn restrictions do not apply to campfires, however following the safe burning practices will decrease the risk of fire spread.  Always make sure your campfire is DEADOUT! before leaving the area.
Keep up to date on current fire prevention measures by visiting the website below or calling The Dalles Unit office at (541)296-4626. 
ODF’s Central Oregon District continues to serve landowners and the public as an essential service for Oregonians.  Please call or email to talk with our staff or schedule an appointment.  For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, including contact information and unit offices, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.