Oregon Forest Department says other areas of Oregon’s Central District will enter fire season next Monday

Further restrictions come into effect July 1

PRINEVILLE, Ore. (KTVZ) — The Dalles and John Day units of the Oregon Forest Department’s Central Oregon District will enter fire season at 12:01 a.m. next Monday.

This statement includes private, non-federal public lands in Hood River, Wasco, Grant, Wheeler, Gilliam, Harney, and Morrow counties protected by the ODF; the Prineville-Sisters unit (Crook, Jefferson and Deschutes counties) declared fire season June 13.

Activities prohibited during the fire season include smoking in logging areas, blasting without a permit, use of explosive targets and tracer ammunition. The burning of yard debris, including burn barrels, is prohibited except in Hood River County, where the burning ban will take effect July 1. In addition to these restrictions, forestry operations are required to follow the following prevention guidelines:

  • firefighting tools and fire extinguishers on site
  • power saws must be equipped with a spark arrester and additional restrictions must be observed during use
  • vehicles used in the operation must be equipped with a fire fighting tool and a fire extinguisher
  • fire truck/water cart on site
  • fire watch

A full description of all fire season restrictions can be found at www.oregon.gov/odf. These guidelines are intended to reduce the risk of fire, to detect fires quickly and to allow rapid extinguishing action.

In addition to the start of the fire season in the Dalles unit, MH-4 (west of Highway 35 in Hood River County) and MH-1 (east of Highway 35 in Hood River and Wasco counties) will be upgraded to Industrial Fire Precaution Level 1. These restrictions include the use of fire-powered or engine-powered machinery in any forestry operation unless they comply with all fire prevention requirements (ORS Chapter 477 and OAR Chapter 629 Divisions 41 through 43). A one-hour fire watch is required after all forestry operations, unless waived.

Recent cool, wet weather is transitioning to warmer temperatures, with limited potential for precipitation in the forecast. This seasonal weather pattern, combined with existing long-term drought conditions, increases the risk of rapid fire spread. The Central District of Oregon will implement a restricted-use closure, intended to reduce potential wildfire outbreaks by limiting fire-related activities.

From 00:01 on July 1, the following restrictions will be in effect:

  • Smoking is not permitted while travelling, except in vehicles on improved roads.
  • Open fires are prohibited, including campfires, charcoal fires, cooking fires and warming fires, except in designated areas. The use of portable appliances such as camp stoves and fire pits using liquefied or bottled fuels is permitted in open areas free of flammable vegetation. The following are required where open fires and appliances are permitted; a shovel and a gallon of water or a 2 ½ pound fire extinguisher.
  • Chainsaw use is prohibited between 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Chainsaw use is permitted at all other times, provided the following firefighting equipment is present with each saw in operation: an axe, a shovel and an 8 oz chainsaw. or a larger fire extinguisher. In addition, a fire watch is required at least one hour after each saw is used.
  • It is forbidden to cut, grind and weld metal between 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. At all other times, the area must be clear of all flammable vegetation and the following fire equipment is required: an axe, a shovel, and an operational fire extinguisher of 2 ½ pounds or more in good working order.
  • The use of motor vehicles, including motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles, is prohibited except on improved roads and except for the use of vehicles by a landowner and the landowner’s employees on their own land while carrying out activities associated with their livelihood.
  • Possession of the following firefighting equipment is required when traveling in a motorized vehicle, except on federal and state highways, county roads and driveways: a shovel and a gallon of water or a operational fire extinguisher of 2½ pounds or more, with the exception of all-terrain vehicles and motorcycles which must be equipped with an approved spark arrester in good working order.
  • Mowing of dried grass with motorized equipment is prohibited between 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., except for commercial cultivation and harvesting of agricultural crops.
  • The use of fireworks is prohibited.
  • Blasting is prohibited.
  • Any electric fence controller used must be: 1) Listed as a nationally recognized testing laboratory or be certified by the Department of Consumer and Business Services; and 2) used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

Additional restrictions, a map and the official proclamation are available at www.Oregon.gov/ODF/Fire/Pages/Restrictions.aspx.

For more information on the Central Oregon District of ODF, including contact information and unit offices, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.

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