FIRE RESTRICTIONS: - Fire Season terminated October 24, 2020
FIRE RESTRICTIONS: - Regulated Closure terminated October 14, 2020
MH1 (Wasco County) IFPL: - IFPL Terminated October 17, 2020 MH4 (Hood River County) IFPL: - IFPL Terminated October 17, 2020
ADDITIONAL INDUSTRIAL FIRE PRECAUTIONS: - Terminated September 25, 2020

Friday, July 31, 2020

MH-4 Increases to IFPL 3

With the increasing fire danger MH-4 will be increasing its Industrial Fire Precaution Level, IFPL 2 to an IFPL 3 Saturday August 1st 2020 at 12:01 AM.  This effects all operations WEST of Hwy 35 within the Oregon Department of Forestry’s fire protection The Dalles Unit.  There will be a 2 hour fire watch required after operations are complete.

All lands protected by the Central Oregon Protection District, in regulated use area MH-4 and all forestland within one-eighth mile thereof.
                                                                              
Under Industrial Fire Precaution Level 3, the use of fire or power-driven machinery in any operation area is unlawful unless such use is in compliance with the following:

Restricted Shutdown: The following activities are not permitted at any time, except as noted:

Cable yarding systems, except that gravity operated logging systems using non-motorized carriages or approved motorized carriages may operate between 8:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m., when all blocks and moving lines are suspended at least 10 feet above the ground (except the line between the carriage and the chokers). An approved motorized carriage is defined as a cable yarding system employing a motorized carriage with two fire extinguishers, each with at least a 2A:10 BC rating, mounted securely on opposite sides of the carriage, an emergency motor cutoff, and an approved exhaust system.

      The following are permitted to operate between the hours of 8 P.M. and 1 P.M.: 
  • Power saws at loading sites;
  • Loading or hauling of any product or material;
  • Blasting;
  • Welding, cutting, or grinding of metal;
  • Any other spark emitting operation not specifically mentioned. 
In addition, the following are permitted to operate between the hours of 8 P.M. and 1 P.M. where mechanized equipment capable of constructing fire line is immediately available to quickly reach and effectively attack a fire start:
  • Ground-based operations (tractor/skidder, feller-buncher, forwarder, or shovel logging operations);
  • Power saws on ground-based operations;
  • Rotary head saw feller-bunchers with a continuous Firewatch;
  • Non-rotary head saw feller-bunchers;
  • Tethered logging - winch-assisted, cable-assisted, traction-assisted, etc. systems, which enable ground-based timber harvesting machines to operate on steep slopes.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Fire Activity Increases With Lightning on ODF Lands


[PRINEVILLE, Ore.]  Fire danger in Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) Central Oregon District moved to “extreme” Monday based on fuel conditions and potential rate of spread of wildland fires.  Additional fire prevention measures were implemented to reduce potential human starts across ODF protected lands.  Red Flag Warnings issued by the National Weather Service for lightning, wind, and high temperatures starting Monday heightened fire manager’s concern for increased fire activity. 
Today, ODF and federal partners have reconnaissance aircraft flying throughout central Oregon to detect fires from lightning.  Locating fires while they are small and taking aggressive initial attack on the fires is critical for reducing wildfire impacts to landowners and smoke effects.  ODF’s multi-mission aircraft, a Partenavia Observer, equipped with infra-red and Electro-optical cameras, will also be flying areas across the District that have received lightning the last few days.
ODF firefighters and partners have taken action on three lightning fires on ODF protected lands since Monday.  The largest was the four acre Little Grizzly Fire on the Prineville Unit.  All fires on ODF protected lands have been caught during initial attack.  Mop-up continues on Little Grizzly and Cat Mountain (1.5 acres) fires today.  Air resources such as Single Engine Air Tankers and helicopters were crucial in supporting ground resources in slowing the fire and allowing firefighters to construct fireline.
The Black Mountain smoke detection camera was used to locate the Matlock Fire on the Umatilla National Forest near Ukiah, Oregon Tuesday afternoon.  The ODF detection center for all cameras located in Central Oregon and Northeast Oregon districts is located at Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center in Redmond.
Firefighters across the Central Oregon District have also responded to escaped debris burns in recent days.  Debris burning is not allowed within the District at this time.  Fire season restrictions, regulated-use closure, and industrial forestry operation requirements are in effect.  Full details are available at www.ODFcentraloregon.com. 
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.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Increased Restrictions for ODF Protected Lands in Central Oregon District


[PRINEVILLE, Ore.]  Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) Central Oregon District will be increasing restrictions for forest operations and the public beginning July 27, 2020 at 12:01 a.m.  These restrictions are intended to reduce the risk of fire ignition on lands within the Central Oregon District in Lake, Harney, Deschutes, Crook, Wasco, Hood River, Grant, Wheeler, Gilliam, Jefferson, Morrow, and Umatilla counties.  Minimal precipitation combined with increasing hot temperatures has continued to dry wildland vegetation and fuels, increasing the potential for rapid fire spread.
The Regulated-Use Closure, affecting recreational and non-industrial landowner activities, restricts many high-risk activities between the hours of 10 a.m. and 8 p.m., prohibits activities such as blasting, in addition to restricting other activities.  Anyone traveling on forested roads is required to have one shovel and one gallon of water (or a 2 ½ pound fire extinguisher).
In addition to the Regulated-Use Closure, ODF will be moving the Industrial Fire Precaution Level in MH-1 (portion of The Dalles Unit east of Hwy 35) to Level 3 and MH-4 (portion of The Dalles Unit west of Hwy 35) to Level 2.  A two hour fire watch is required after industrial operations are complete in both areas.  Activities included in these restrictions are power saw use, loading or hauling of material, cable yarding systems, blasting, welding, cutting, and grinding of metal, rotary head saws, and other spark emitting activities.  Any questions regarding these restrictions should be directed to Brian Reel, The Dalles Unit Stewardship Forester.
Industrial forest operations in the John Day and Prineville Units of the Central Oregon District will have “Additional Fire Prevention Requirements” in place to reduce the risk of fire ignition.  Mechanized harvesters with rotary saws, chainsaws, tracked felling and skidding equipment, slash buster/mastication equipment, and cable yarding systems will be restricted during the hours of 1 p.m. and 8 p.m.  Watchman service is required for all industrial operations.
All other fire season restrictions remain in effect.  Full details of the closure and restrictions of industrial activities are available at www.ODFcentraloregon.com. 
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.

Friday, July 10, 2020



Department of Forestry Reminds Public of Current Fire Prevention Restrictions


[Prineville, Ore.]  Regulated-Use Closure for lands protected by Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) Central Oregon District went into effect July 1, 2020.  These restrictions are intended to limit activities which have an increased potential of starting fires.  Current fuel conditions in the District are likely to result in a rapidly spreading fire from activities such as a spark from a lawnmower blade on rock.  Under the Regulated-Use Closure activities are prohibited or restricted to timeframes when there is increased humidity rather than the hottest and driest times of the day. 

Recent human caused fires on both ODF protection and partner agencies cause concern for fire managers as fuels continue to cure.  It is critical that the public is mindful of their activities and follow all fire prevention restrictions.  All open burning, including campfires is prohibited on ODF protected lands in the Central Oregon District.  As well as use of tracer ammunition and exploding targets.  The full proclamation describing the restrictions is available at www.odfcentraloregon.com.
Those traveling in forested areas need to have a fire extinguisher and shovel in case they come upon a fire, and they should report all fires to 911 or a local dispatch center even if they believe they have contained the fire.  While traveling and recreating in the woods, do not leave gravel roadways and never park in grassy areas where hot vehicle parts can come in contact with vegetation.
Prevention measures can vary among agencies, however it is the responsibility of the user to know the rules and restrictions.  Know Before You Go!  Also be aware that some landowners have additional restrictions you may be required to follow.     
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, July 8, 2020


Department of Forestry Joins Interagency Dispatch Center
[The Dalles, Ore.]  Wildland fire fighting resources for Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) The Dalles Unit are being dispatched from Columbia Cascade Communication Center (CCCC) in Vancouver, Washington this fire season.  For decades resources have been dispatched locally from the ODF office in The Dalles, Oregon, a stand-alone dispatch center coordinating with federal and fire district partners and firefighters on the ground, sometimes responding to multiple fire starts.  This fire season ODF joined CCCC interagency dispatch center, which employs several dispatchers and support personnel, who provide initial attack dispatching, aviation and logistical support for small and large incidents. All to efficiently manage firefighter needs and response across a broad geographic region.  The dispatch center uses a “closest forces” concept to respond to fires, essentially the closest firefighters respond to a fire, irrelevant of landowner or jurisdiction.  This coordinated response and tracking of cooperating resources was the impetus for ODF joining the interagency dispatch center.
As part of the integration into CCCC, the Department of Forestry hired Karen Spencer as Assistant Center Manager.  “Karen’s work will be critical as we transition from our current dispatch processes to working with our federal partners in the interagency dispatch center,” says Kristin Dodd, Unit Forester for The Dalles Unit.  “I am excited to have been able to make this happen for the 2020 fire season.”  In addition to hiring an assistant center manager, Ben Hansel was hired as a seasonal dispatcher, providing added capacity to meet the increased workload.
It may seem strange to have the dispatch center located so far away, even in a different state, but coordinating between responding agencies improves the response to wildfires on all ownerships.  The Columbia Cascade Communication Center dispatches wildland fire resources for Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Mt. Hood National Forest, and now includes Oregon Department of Forestry’s The Dalles Unit.  The Dalles Unit provides wildland fire protection for private, state owned, and county owned lands in Hood River and Wasco counties.  The Dalles Unit will continue to coordinate with local fire departments to provide wildfire response and mutual aid within the Central Oregon District.
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.