More restrictions in effect on July 1st.
PRINEVILLE, Ore. (KTVZ) — The Dallas and John Day units of the Oregon Department of Forestry in Central Oregon will enter fire season at 12:01 a.m. next Monday.
This declaration includes the private and non-federal public lands in Hood River, Wasco, Grant, Wheeler, Gilliam, Harney, and Morrow counties that are protected by the ODF; The Prineville-Sisters unit (Crook, Jefferson, and Deschutes counties) announced fire season on June 13.
Prohibited activities during the fire season include smoking in forest operations areas, unauthorized bombing, and the use of explosive targets and detective munitions. Backyard debris burning, including barrel burning, is prohibited, except in Hood River County, where a cremation ban will go into effect on July 1. In addition to these limitations, forestry operations are required to follow the following prevention guidelines:
- Extinguishing tools and fire extinguishers on site
- Saws must be fitted with a spark arrester and additional restrictions must be followed during use
- Vehicles used in the process must have an extinguishing device and a fire extinguisher
- Fire truck/water truck on site
- fire control
A full description of all fire season restrictions is available at www.oregon.gov/odf. These guidelines are intended to reduce the risk of ignition, to detect fires quickly, and to allow for a rapid suppression response.
In addition to the start of the fire season at the Dulles unit, MH-4 (west of Interstate 35 in Hood River County) and MH-1 (east of Interstate 35 in Hood River and Wasco counties) will transition to industrial fire precaution level 1 Fire or powered machinery in any forest operation unless all fire protection requirements are complied with (ORS Chapter 477 and Chapter 629 OAR Sections 41 to 43). One hour fire monitoring is required after all forestry operations, unless waived.
Lately cool, humid weather is transitioning to warmer temperatures, with a limited chance of rain in the forecast. This seasonal weather pattern, along with the current long-term drought conditions, increases the risk of the rapid spread of fires. Central Oregon will implement a Regulated Use Closeout System, which aims to reduce potential wildfire outbreaks by restricting fire-related activities.
Effective 12:01 a.m. July 1, the following restrictions will be in effect:
- Smoking is prohibited while traveling, except for vehicles on improved roads.
- Open fires, including camp fires, coal fires, cooking fires, and greenhouse fires, are prohibited, except in designated areas. Portable appliances such as camp stoves and fire pits that use liquid or bottled fuels are permitted in areas free of flammable plants. The following is required where open fire and devices are permitted; Shovel and one gallon of water or a 2-lb fire extinguisher.
- Saw prohibited, between 1:00 pm and 8:00 pm, saw allowed at all other hours, if the following firefighting equipment is present with each operating saw: one axe, one shovel, one operating 8 ounces or a larger fire extinguisher . In addition, the fire should be monitored for at least one hour after each saw is used.
- Metal cutting, grinding and welding between 1:00 pm and 8:00 pm is prohibited at all other times The area must be cleaned of flammable vegetation and the following fire equipment must be used: one axe, one shovel, and a working fire extinguisher of 2 lbs or larger in case Good job.
- The use of motor vehicles, including motorcycles and ATVs, is prohibited, except on improved roads and except for the use of vehicles by the landowner and the employees of the landowner on their land while carrying out activities related to their livelihood.
- Possession of the following firefighting equipment is required while traveling in a motorized vehicle, excluding federal, state, county highways, and trails: 1 shovel and 1 gallon of water or a 2-pound or larger fire extinguisher, except for ATVs and motorcycles that must be fire-retardant Certified spark plug is in good working condition.
- It is prohibited to mow dried grass with powered equipment, between 1:00 pm and 8:00 pm, except for commercial cultivation and harvesting of agricultural crops.
- The use of fireworks is prohibited.
- Exploding is prohibited.
- Any electric fence controller in use must be: 1) listed as a nationally recognized testing laboratory or approved by the Consumer and Business Services Administration; 2) Operate according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Additional restrictions, a map, and an official announcement can be found at www.Oregon.gov/ODF/Fire/Pages/Restrictions.aspx.
For additional information about the ODF Central Oregon region, including contact information and unit offices, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.