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North Cascade District - Fire Restrictions and Closures
Fire suppression activity on the North Cascade District
Fire suppression activity on the North Cascade District
The North Cascade District entered Fire Season on July 11, 2012              and a Regulated Use Closure on August 4, 2012.
Fire Season
Fire Suppression Activity on the North Cascade District
Fire Suppression Activity on the North Cascade District
Fire Season is defined as "the season when a fire hazard exists as declared by the Oregon Department of Forestry". In the North Cascade District, Fire Season usually begins in late June or early July and usually ends in mid to late October.

Public Use Restrictions
Fire activity on the North Cascade District
Fire activity on the North Cascade District
Regulated Use Closures do not affect where people can go but do affect what they can do.   Affected lands will often be marked with signs along with instructions and prevention reminders.  You should determine the specific restrictions that apply to your destination before traveling. The following restrictions are commonly put in place during a regulated use closure:

1.  Prohibition of smoking while traveling, except in vehicles on improved roads, in boats on the water, and at designated locations.  An "improved road" is a road that has been constructed for automobile use and is maintained clear of flammable debris.   2.  Open fires such as campfires, charcoal fires, and cooking fires are allowed only in designated locations.  Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels are allowed. 
3.  Restrictions or prohibition of  non-industrial use of chainsaws.  This includes private woodcutting.  An axe, shovel, and fire extinguisher of at least 8 oz. capacity must be kept with each saw. 
4.  The use of motor vehicles, including motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles, may be prohibited, except on improved roads.
5.  Possessing the following fire equipment while traveling in timber, brush or grass areas may be required:  one axe at least 26 inches in length, with a head weighing at least 2 pounds; one shovel at least 26 inches in length, with a blade at least 8 inches wide; and one gallon of water or one fully charged and an operational 2.5 lb or larger fire extinguisher.
6.  Prohibition on the use of fireworks.
7.  Prohibition on the cutting, grinding and welding of metal in dry, grassy or forested areas between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
8.  Prohibition on the use of exploding targets.
Permit Closure: When fire danger increases, a permit closure may be announced.  Permit closures require people, including landowners, to obtain permits before entering designated forest lands.
Absolute Closure: This closure prohibits all use of forested areas within a designated area.  All forms of travel and all recreational activities are prohibited during an absolute closure.

Chart of statewide Industrial Fire Precaution Levels and Regulated Use Closures

Industrial Fire Precaution Levels (IFPL)

0. Outside of Industrial Precaution Level Restrictions
I. Closed Season
Fire season requirements are in effect. In addition to other fire prevention measures, a Fire Watch is required at this and all higher levels unless otherwise waived.

II. Partial Hoot Owl
The following may operate only between the hours of 8 P.M. and 1 P.M.
  •  power saws except at loading sites;
  •  cable yarding;
  •  blasting;
  •  welding or cutting of metal.

III. Partial Shutdown
The following are prohibited except as indicated:
  • cable yarding - except that gravity operated logging systems employing non-motorized carriages may operate between 8 P.M. and 1 P.M. when all blocks and moving lines are suspended 10 feet above the ground except the line between the carriage and the chokers.
  • power saws - except power saws may be used at loading sites and on tractor/skidder operations between the hours of 8 P.M. and 1 P.M.

In addition, the following are permitted to operate between the hours of 8 P.M. and 1 P.M.:
  • tractor/skidder, feller-buncher, forwarder, or shovel logging operations where tractors, skidders or other equipment with a blade capable of constructing fireline are immediately available to quickly reach and effectively attack a fire start; 
  • mechanized loading or hauling of any product or material;
  • blasting;
  • welding or cutting of metal;
  • any other spark emitting operation not specifically mentioned.

IV. General Shutdown
All operations are prohibited.
Links to more information on ODF's website about industrial precaution levels:

Forest Fire Danger Rating System
Low Danger - Green
Fuels do not ignite readily from small firebrands, although a more intense heat source – such as lightning – may start many fires in duff or punky wood. Fires in open or cured grassland may burn freely a few hours after rain, but wood fires spread slowly by creeping or smoldering and burn in irregular fingers. There is little danger of spotting.
Moderate Danger - Blue
Fires can start from most accidental causes, but with the exception of lightning in some areas, the number of starts is generally low. Fires in open cured grassland will burn briskly and spread rapidly on windy days. Woods fires spread slowly to moderately fast. The average fire is of moderate intensity, although heavy concentrations of fuel – especially draped fuel -- may burn hot. Short-distance spotting may occur, but is not persistent. Fires are not likely to become serious and control is relatively easy.
High Danger - Yellow
All fine dead fuels ignite readily and fires start easily from most causes. Unattended brush and campfires are likely to escape. Fires spread rapidly and short-distance spotting is common. High intensity burning may develop on slopes or in concentrations of fine fuel. Fires may become serious and their control difficult, unless they are hit hard and fast while small.
Extreme Danger - Red
Fires under extreme conditions start quickly, spread furiously and burn intensely. All fires are potentially serious. Development into high-intensity burning will usually be faster and occur from smaller fires than in the Very High Danger class (4). Direct attack is rarely possible and may be dangerous, except immediately after ignition. Fires that develop headway in heavy slash or in conifer stands may be unmanageable while the extreme burning condition lasts. Under these conditions, the only effective and safe control action is on the flanks, until the weather changes or the fuel supply lessens

Quick Links

Protection From Fire