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

Friday, May 28, 2021

 Fire Season in Effect for All of Central Oregon District as John Day Unit Implements Fire Season

[Prineville, Ore.]  Beginning June 1, 2021 the John Day Unit will join The Dalles and Prineville units of the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Central Oregon District in implementing fire season. Cooler temperatures and precipitation over the last few weeks has been a welcome reprieve from the rising fire danger observed this spring.  However, warm temperatures and windy conditions in the forecast will quickly dry wildland fuels bringing the return of unseasonably high wildfire danger across the area. 

Human caused fires for 2021 within ODF’s Central Oregon District are more than double the ten-year-average for fire starts year-to-date.  Thirty-one fires have burned 243 acres of ODF protected lands already this year.  On average the District responds to 136 fires each year; 66 lightning starts and 70 human ignitions.      

Fire Season Regulations

The following acts are prohibited during fire season in accordance with ORS 477.510 and ORS 477.512:

·        Smoking while working in or traveling through any operation area.

·        The use of fuse and caps for blasting, unless approval is granted by the forester.

·        The discharge of an exploding target inside the district or within one-eighth mile of the district.

·        The discharge of tracer ammunition on land that is within the district or within one-eighth mile of the district, or when discharged, crosses above land that is within the district or within one-eighth mile of the district.

Operators should refer to www.oregon.gov/odf/fire/Documents/fire-season-requirements-for-industrial-operations.pdf for information specific to industrial operations during fire season, or call their local ODF Office.

John Day Unit—Grant, Wheeler, Morrow, Harney, & Gilliam Counties (541)575-1139

·        Burning of logging slash and larger debris piles is not currently allowed in the John Day Unit. 

·        Burning yard debris and burn barrels is no longer permitted on lands protected by ODF.

Prineville Unit-Crook, Jefferson, and Deschutes Counties (541)447-5658

·        Burning of logging slash is not allowed at this time. 

·        Contact the local fire departments to obtain burn permits for burning yard debris where allowed. 

The Dalles Unit-Wasco and Hood River Counties (541)296-4626

·        IFPL 1 in effect for MH-1(east of Hwy 35 in Hood River and Wasco counties) and MH-4 (west of Hwy 35 in Hood River County)

·        Burn ban in effect for Hood River and Wasco counties begins June 1, 2021.

For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, including contact information and unit offices, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.

Thursday, May 20, 2021

 Date: May 20, 2021
News Release – For Immediate Release
Contact: Kristin Dodd, ODF, 541-296-4626


Hood River-Wasco Counties Forestland Classification Committee

-Public Meeting-


The Hood River-Wasco Counties Forestland Classification Committee has called a public meeting at the following time and location.


DATE: Thursday May 27, 2021
TIME: 9:00 A.M.-12:00 P.M.  
LOCATION: VIRTUAL MEETING
The public is welcome to attend via Zoom videoconference at the following:
https://odf.zoom.us/j/92689787333


                        Phone # if computer audio is not working:
        1-253-215-8782 or 1-669-900-6833
                        Meeting ID: 926 8978 7333

The purpose of this meeting is to continue review and update of the Hood River-Wasco counties Forestland Classification.  This review determines lands that may be classified as “Forestland” (ORS 477.001(9)) which determines what lands are protected from wildfire by the Oregon Department of Forestry.


Kristin Dodd
Forestland Classification Committee Secretary

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Image from Middle Mountain Detection Camera
 

Middle Mountain Fire Cause Suspicious

[The Dalles, Ore.]  Monday afternoon a fire was spotted by Central Oregon District’s detection camera operator on Middle Mountain south of Hood River.  The fire burned nearly an acre of older logging slash on Hood River County ownership.  The fire is human caused and under investigation.  Anyone with information which may help investigators find the person responsible for the fire is asked to call the Oregon State Police Tip Line, 1-800-452-7888.

Human caused fires continue to be a concern for firefighters in The Dalles Unit of the Oregon Department of Forestry.  This week’s cooler temperatures have been accompanied by strong winds and will provide only a slight reprieve to the unseasonably dry conditions as warmer temperatures return this weekend.   Implementation of fire season on May 15, 2021 was intended to restrict activities which have increased
risk of igniting a wildfire.  Year-to-date The Dalles Unit has had eight fires, twice the ten-year average, burning nearly nine acres.

Fire Season Regulations

The following acts are prohibited during fire season in accordance with ORS 477.510 and ORS 477.512:

·        Smoking while working in or traveling through any operation area.

·        The use of fuse and caps for blasting, unless approval is granted by the forester.

·        The discharge of an exploding target inside the district or within one-eighth mile of the district.

·        The discharge of tracer ammunition on land that is within the district or within one-eighth mile of the district, or when discharged, crosses above land that is within the district or within one-eighth mile of the district.

Operators should refer to www.oregon.gov/odf/fire/Documents/fire-season-requirements-for-industrial-operations.pdf for information specific to industrial operations during fire season, or call their local ODF Office.

The Dalles Unit-Wasco and Hood River Counties (541)296-4626

In addition to the on-set of Fire Season in The Dalles Unit, MH-4 (west of Hwy 35 in Hood River County) and MH-1 (east of Hwy 35 in Hood River and Wasco counties) also moved into Industrial Fire Precaution Level 1, as of May 15, 2021.  Included in these restrictions is the use of fire or power-driven machinery in any forest operation unless in compliance with all fire prevention requirements (ORS Chapter 477 and OAR Chapter 629 Divisions 41 to 43).  A one hour firewatch is required after all forest operations, unless waived.

Burn permits from ODF or your local fire department are required for burn barrels and burning yard debris material (ODF will not be issuing permits for debris burning after May 15th).  Always follow all recommendations on your burn permit.  Only burn materials approved by Oregon Department of Environmental Quality for outdoor burning.  A DEQ Fact Sheet to help determine what applies in your area, or who to call for more information can be found here:  www.oregon.gov/deq/FilterDocs/OpenBurnEng.pdf.  Beginning June 1, 2021 Hood River and Wasco counties will be implementing county wide burn bans to reduce the risk of wildfire from escaped debris burns.  While campfires are not included in this ban, please verify with the respective landowner that campfires are allowed on their land and always make sure the campfire is completely out before leaving. 

For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, including contact information and unit offices, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.

Thursday, May 13, 2021

 

Fire Season Declared for Lands Protected by ODF in Portions of Central Oregon District


[Prineville, Ore.] Fire Season will begin for The Dalles and Prineville units of Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) Central Oregon District at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, May 15, 2021.  Leadership within the District have been monitoring fuel conditions this spring, as well as reviewing snowpack, weather forecasts and drought impacts.  The limited precipitation across the region this spring has affected down woody fuel moisture content as well as the condition of live vegetation fuels and their susceptibility to fire ignition and spread.  Conditions in The Dalles and Prineville units are unseasonably dry and at an increased risk of fire spread.  New maximum daily fire indices are being recorded, indicative of the potential wildfire hazard.

Historically, this will be the earliest declaration of Fire Season in the District in more than forty years.  Typically weather and fuels in central Oregon begin to warm and dry in late May or early June, with Fire Season beginning in mid-June.  However the lack of spring rains this year and the rapid loss of snowpack in the higher elevations has moved this timeframe forward by several weeks.

Early season fires have created significant concern for firefighters this spring.  Twenty-two human caused fires have burned over 200 acres.  The ten-year-average for this timeframe is ten fires, burning thirty-two acres.  Escaped debris burning is the leading cause of these fires, accounting for more than half of these wildfires.

General Fire Season Regulations

The following acts are prohibited during fire season in accordance with ORS 477.510 and ORS 477.512:

             Smoking while working in or traveling through any operation area.

             The use of fuse and caps for blasting, unless approval is granted by the forester.

             The discharge of an exploding target inside the district or within one-eighth mile of the district.

             The discharge of tracer ammunition on land that is within the district or within one-eighth mile of the district, or when discharged, crosses above land that is within the district or within one-eighth mile of the district.

Operators should refer to https://www.oregon.gov/odf/fire/Documents/fire-season-requirements-for-industrial-operations.pdf  for information specific to industrial operations during fire season, or call their local ODF Office.

Information specific to ODF’s Central Oregon District by Unit.

The Dalles Unit-Wasco and Hood River Counties (541)296-4626

In addition to the on-set of Fire Season in The Dalles Unit, MH-4 (west of Hwy 35 in Hood River County) and MH-1 (east of Hwy 35 in Hood River and Wasco counties) will move into Industrial Fire Precaution Level 1.  Included in these restrictions is the use of fire or power-driven machinery in any forest operation unless in compliance with all fire prevention requirements (ORS Chapter 477 and OAR Chapter 629 Divisions 41 to 43).  A one hour firewatch is required after all forest operations, unless waived.

Burn permits from ODF or your local fire department are required for burn barrels and burning yard debris material (ODF will not be issuing permits for debris burning after May 15th).  Always follow all recommendations on your burn permit.  Only burn materials approved by Oregon Department of Environmental Quality for outdoor burning.  A DEQ Fact Sheet to help determine what applies in your area, or who to call for more information can be found here:  https://www.oregon.gov/deq/FilterDocs/OpenBurnEng.pdf.  Beginning June 1, 2021 Hood River and Wasco counties will be implementing county wide burn bans to reduce the risk of wildfire from escaped debris burns.  While campfires are not included in this ban, please verify with the respective landowner that campfires are allowed on their land and always make sure the campfire is completely out before leaving. 

“There is strong agreement between ODF and our local county and fire district partners to bump up the Burn Ban dates in alignment with the fuel conditions we are seeing and the number of fire responses that have occurred this spring to date.  Given the limited rainfall received during the winter/spring and the hot & dry conditions, this is the prudent thing to do.  We hope the public can support holding off on burning until the fall rains in order to minimize the number of human caused wildfires on the landscape,” states Kristin Dodd, The Dalles Unit Forester. 

John Day Unit—Grant, Wheeler, Morrow, Harney, & Gilliam Counties (541)575-1139

Fuel conditions in the John Day Unit are unseasonably dry, but do not yet necessitate the restrictions implemented with the Fire Season declaration.  

Burning of logging slash and larger debris piles is not currently allowed in the John Day Unit.  Burn barrels and smaller yard debris piles do not require a burn permit from the Department of Forestry, but may require a permit from the local fire department.  Remember to follow safe burning guidelines and never leave a fire unattended.

Prineville Unit-Crook, Jefferson, and Deschutes Counties (541)447-5658

Fire Season restrictions are intended to reduce wildfires in the Prineville Unit and Sister’s Sub-Unit.  Burning of logging slash is not allowed at this time.  Contact the local fire departments to obtain burn permits for burning yard debris where allowed. 

For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, including contact information and unit offices, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.

Thursday, April 22, 2021

 Hood River-Wasco Counties Forestland Classification Committee

-Public Meeting-

The Hood River-Wasco Counties Forestland Classification Committee has called a public meeting at the following time and location.

DATE: Thursday April 29, 2021

TIME: 1:00 P.M.-4:00 P.M.  

LOCATION: VIRTUAL MEETING

        The public is welcome to attend via Zoom videoconference at the following:

        https://odf.zoom.us/j/97259366729

Phone # if computer audio is not working:

        1-346-248-7799 or 1-669-900-6833

                                Meeting ID: 972 5936 6729

The purpose of this meeting is to continue review and update of the Hood River-Wasco Counties Forestland Classification.  This review determines lands that may be classified as “Forestland” (ORS 477.001(9)) which determines what lands are protected from wildfire by the Oregon Department of Forestry.

Kristin Dodd

Forestland Classification Committee Secretary


 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 remonstrances to the proposed budget for the Central Oregon Forest Protection District.  A hearing will be held on Friday, April 30, 2021, 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

Thursday, April 15, 2021

ODF Urges Landowners Not to Burn Due to Weather and Fuel Conditions

[Prineville, Ore.] Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) Central Oregon District is seeing a significant increase in escaped debris and agricultural burns, rekindled slash burns, and fires spread from abandoned campfires across the Central Oregon District.  Limited moisture in recent weeks combined with strong winds has resulted in dry vegetation and fuels on the landscape.  Cool spring temperatures have reduced green-up of vegetation which typically slows fire growth in wildland fuels this time of year.   The Central Oregon District has had eleven fires year-to-date; four times the ten-year-average.  These fires have burned more than 200 acres of private lands protected by ODF, the ten-year-average is less than ten acres for the same time-frame.  

The current short-term weather outlook is for daytime temperatures to reach 80 degrees or warmer, with no moisture in the ten day forecast.  Based on this forecast the Central Oregon District is urging landowners to pause any burning planned at this time until some precipitation is seen on the landscape and the risk of wildfire is reduced.  Many local fire departments have canceled burning in recent days due to strong winds in the region.  

ODF is focused on preventing wildfire impacts in communities in Central Oregon and reducing human caused fires.  “We are strongly recommending landowners not burn for the remainder of this week due to weather and fuel conditions,” says Mike Shaw, ODF’s Central Oregon District Forester.  When weather conditions moderate and burning can be accomplished safely landowners should contact their local fire department or ODF office to determine if burning is allowed and if a permit is needed.  Safe burning guidelines included keeping the fire small, have water and tools available to suppress the fire if needed, never leave the fire unattended, clear the area surrounding the burn pile to mineral soil, ensure the fire is out (cold to the touch) when burning is complete, and never burn during windy conditions.  Additionally, revisit the burn area in the days following to make sure there is no heat remaining. Debris burning includes field/pastures and irrigation ditch burning to reduce thatch.

Abandoned campfires have been linked to several recent fires.  Campfires should be small, have fuels cleared away from the fire ring, never be left unattended, and should be completely extinguished prior to leaving.  Drowning with water and stirring is the best way to be certain the fire is out. 

The responsible party can be cited for an uncontrolled burn and held accountable for the suppression costs of the fire as well as any damage caused by the fire.


Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Bull Springs Fire Final

[Bend, Ore.] The Bull Springs Fire, west of Bend, was reported late Sunday afternoon burning in slash, Ponderosa Pine, juniper, and brush.  This wind driven fire grew quickly, burning 211 acres before fire fighters were able to stop the spread.  Two outbuildings were destroyed by the fire, and nearly 200 residences were placed in a Level 3 (GO) evacuation Sunday evening.  Coordination between Bend Fire Department, Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office, Oregon Department of Forestry, and federal resources from Central Oregon Fire Management Service were the key to catching this fire Sunday evening and protecting structures and homes in the fire area.  Aided by dozers from Taylor Northwest, fire crews were able to get line around the fire’s perimeter and focus on any spot fires outside the fireline.

Firefighters have continued to work in the fire area, monitoring for spot fires, and extinguishing heat and flames within the perimeter.  Additional crews from the Department of Corrections and the US Forest Service Prineville Hotshots have aided in this work.  As of Wednesday afternoon the fire is estimated to be 95% contained.  Fire managers anticipate completing the mop-up work on Thursday with five engines and the Department of Corrections crew. The fire will continue to be monitored and checked in the coming weeks to ensure the fire is out.  The Deschutes County Sheriff lifted all evacuation orders Wednesday morning.

The cause of the fire has been determined to be a rekindled debris burn.  Heat can hold in burn piles and even under soil for many weeks with no visible smoke.  With limited recent moisture in Central Oregon vegetation and wildland fuels are very dry, making them susceptible to ignition and rapid fire spread, especially on windy days.  Please check burn piles and burn areas from any debris burning completed this winter or spring to ensure there is no residual heat or fire.  

Below are some tips to reduce the risk of a fire getting out of control. 

·        Check weather forecasts.  Avoid burning on windy days or when wind is forecast to be erratic or increasing.

·        Check with local fire department and county restrictions to be certain burning is allowed and what restrictions should be followed.

·        Never leave a fire unattended.  Be certain the fire is completely out prior to leaving.

·        Have a water source and shovel available while burning.

·        Keep debris piles small.  Add material gradually as the pile burns down.

·        Ensure burned piles are cold prior to adding new material for future burning.

·        Contact 911 immediately if the fire gets out of control.

For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, including contact information and unit offices, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.

Use Caution With Spring Burning

[Prineville, Ore.] Spring is often the time when landowners work to clean up vegetation and yard debris around their property and is the perfect time for cleaning gutters and removing leaves and needles from rooftops to reduce risk of wildfire damage to homes and buildings.  However, Oregon Department of Forestry’s Prineville Unit reminds landowners to be cautious if they plan to burn that material.  Weather in the spring can often be erratic and winds can pick up suddenly, fanning flames and dispersing embers into dry vegetation nearby. Many communities have programs which allow for chipping and disposal of these types of materials at low or no cost to landowners.  ODF encourages landowners to take advantage of these “No Burn” opportunities such as FireFree Events throughout Central Oregon.  Event dates for 2021 can be found here, https://www.firefree.org/firefreeevents/.

Landowners planning to burn yard debris, material from fuel reduction projects, and other commercial forest slash this spring in Crook, Deschutes, and Jefferson counties should obtain a burn permit from the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) and/or follow burning instructions from their local fire department.  Operators and landowners burning forestry slash or fuel reduction materials should complete burning according to the instructions on their burn permit to reduce risks of escaped burns and the rekindling of burn piles later in the season when wildland fuels have dried out.  

Below are some tips to reduce the risk of a fire getting out of control. 

·        Check weather forecasts.  Avoid burning on windy days or when wind is forecast to be erratic or increasing.

·        Check with local fire department and county restrictions to be certain burning is allowed and what restrictions should be followed.

·        Never leave a fire unattended.  Be certain the fire is completely out prior to leaving.

·        Have a water source and shovel available while burning.

·        Keep debris piles small.  Add material gradually as the pile burns down.

·        Ensure burned piles are cold prior to adding new material for future burning.

·        Contact 911 immediately if the fire gets out of control.

Landowners can be held financially responsible for the costs of putting the fire out and any damage caused by a fire if they are found to be negligent while burning.  The responsible party can also be cited for an uncontrolled fire.  Debris burning includes field/pastures and irrigation ditch burning intended to reduce thatch as well as other agricultural type burning.

For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, including contact information and unit offices, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Oregon Department of Forestry:  Now is the Time to Complete Spring Debris Burning

[The Dalles, Ore.] Landowners planning to burn yard debris, material from fuel reduction projects, and other commercial forest slash this spring in Wasco and Hood River counties should contact the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) office in The Dalles for information on how to obtain a permit and when burning is allowed.   ODF is encouraging landowners to complete burning from fuel reduction projects or commercial forest slash prior to March 31st to reduce risks of escaped burns and the rekindling of burn piles later in the season when wildland fuels have dried out.  Yard debris pile burning is typically allowed until May 15th.  

Spring is often the time when landowners work to clean up vegetation and yard debris around their property and is the perfect time for cleaning gutters and removing leaves and needles from rooftops to reduce risk of wildfire damage to homes and buildings.  However, ODF reminds landowners to be cautious if they plan to burn that material.  Weather in the spring can often be erratic and winds can pick up suddenly, fanning flames and dispersing embers into dry vegetation nearby. Many communities have programs which allow for chipping and disposal of these types of materials at low or no cost to landowners.  ODF encourages landowners to take advantage of these “No Burn” opportunities. During the month of May the Wasco County landfill accepts yard debris free of charge. 

Below are some tips to reduce the risk of a fire getting out of control.  

Check with local fire department and county restrictions to be certain burning is allowed and what restrictions should be followed.

Check weather forecasts.  Avoid burning on windy days or when wind is forecast to be erratic or increasing.

Never leave a fire unattended.  Be certain the fire is completely out prior to leaving.

Have a water source and shovel available while burning.

Keep debris piles small.  Add material gradually as the pile burns down.

Ensure burned piles are cold prior to adding new material for future burning.

Contact 911 immediately if the fire gets out of control.

Landowners can be held financially responsible for the costs of putting the fire out and any damage caused by a fire if they are found to be negligent while burning.  The responsible party can also be cited for an uncontrolled fire.  Debris burning includes field/pastures and irrigation ditch burning intended to reduce thatch as well as other agricultural type burning.

Burn permits can be requested online at http://centraloregonburnpermitinfo.blogspot.com/ or by calling The Dalles Unit at 541-296-4626.  For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, including contact information for other offices in the District, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.


Friday, March 19, 2021

 Hood River-Wasco Counties Forestland Classification Committee

 -Public Meeting-

The Hood River-Wasco Counties Forestland Classification Committee has called a public meeting at the following time and location.

DATE:                        Wednesday March 24, 2021

TIME:                         9:00 A.M.-12:00 P.M. 

LOCATION:               VIRTUAL MEETING

                                    The public is welcome to attend via Zoom videoconference at the following:

                                    https://odf.zoom.us/j/96477343244

                                    Phone # if computer audio is not working:

      1-346-248-7799 or 1-669-900-6833

      Meeting ID: 964 7734 3244

The purpose of this meeting is to continue review and update of the Hood River-Wasco Counties Forestland Classification.  This review determines lands that may be classified as “Forestland” (ORS 477.001(9)) which determines what lands are protected from wildfire by the Oregon Department of Forestry.


Kristin Dodd

Forestland Classification Committee Secretary

Friday, February 19, 2021

Date: February 19, 2021
News Release – For Immediate Release
Contact: Kristin Dodd, ODF, 541-296-4626

Hood River-Wasco Counties Forestland Classification Committee

 -Public Meeting-

 The Hood River-Wasco Counties Forestland Classification Committee has called a public meeting at the following time and location.

 DATE:                        Thursday February 25, 2021

TIME:                         1:00 P.M.-4:00 P.M. 

LOCATION:               VIRTUAL MEETING

                                    The public is welcome to attend via Zoom videoconference at the following:

                                    https://odf.zoom.us/j/99781453589

Phone # if computer audio not working:

                                    1-346-248-7799 or 1-669-900-6833

Meeting ID: 997 8145 3589

The purpose of this meeting is to continue review and update of the Hood River-Wasco Counties Forestland Classification.  This review determines lands that may be classified as “Forestland” (ORS 477.001(9)) which determines what lands are protected from wildfire by the Oregon Department of Forestry. 


Kristin Dodd
Forestland Classification Committee Secretary

Friday, January 15, 2021

Date: January 15, 2021
News Release – For Immediate Release
Contact: Kristin Dodd, ODF, 541-296-4626

 Hood River-Wasco Counties Forestland Classification Committee

-Public Meeting-

The Hood River-Wasco Counties Forestland Classification Committee has called a public meeting at the following time and location.

TIME:                  1:00 P.M.-3:00 P.M.  Thursday January 21, 2021
LOCATION:         VIRTUAL MEETING
                            The public is welcome to attend via Zoom videoconference at the following:  https://odf.zoom.us/j/93421429973
                            Phone # if computer audio not working:  1-346-248-7799 or  1-669-900-6833
                            Meeting ID: 934 2142 9973
                                 

The purpose of this meeting is to continue review and update of the Hood River-Wasco Counties Forestland Classification.  This review determines lands that may be classified as “Forestland” (ORS 477.001(9)) which determines what lands are protected from wildfire by the Oregon Department of Forestry.


Kristin Dodd
Forestland Classification Committee Secretary