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South Cascade District declares fire season July 1
Contact: Lena Tucker, 541-726-3588
 
The Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) South Cascade District announced today that fire season will begin on July 1 in eastern Linn and eastern Lane counties. The South Cascade District protects more than 1.1 million acres of private and public lands from wildfire within the two-county area.
 
What fire season means
Entry into fire season imposes certain restrictions on recreational and work activities in the forest. Industrial operations are required to have firefighting equipment on site. Since restrictions may vary, it is advisable to check with the nearest ODF office for rules specific to the local area. 
Industrial Fire Precaution levels (IFPL) are part of ODF’s closure system that regulates industrial activity in the forests west of the Cascade Mountains. When fire season takes effect, the district will be at an IFPL 1, which imposes the fewest restrictions and generally requires a fire watch at industrial forest operation sites. IFPL details can be found at: www.oregon.gov/ODF/FIRE/ifpl.shtml. You can also check the daily IFPL level by calling 541-726-3555.
 
In eastern Linn County, Regulated-Use Closures will be in effect within one-half mile of the Quartzville Rd. from Green Peter Dam to the U.S. Forest Service’s Willamette National Forest boundary. Under this closure, campfires are permitted only at designated locations and on sand or gravel bars that lie between the water and high water marks where there is no vegetation. Use of fireworks is prohibited in this corridor.
 
Wildfire facts
On the lands protected by the Department of Forestry, the 10-year average is about 1,100 wildfires burning a total of 24,000 acres. In a typical year, about two-thirds of the fires are caused by people and the remainder by lightning. Of the human-caused fires, fewer than half are caused by forest landowners and operators. Across all Oregon forest protection jurisdictions, about 2,600 wildfires burn roughly 239,000 acres annually on average.
 
Through June 24, 72 lightning-caused fires had burned about 33 acres on lands protected by ODF. During that period, 103 human-caused fires burned about 365 acres.
 
The Oregon Department of Forestry provides fire protection to 15.8 million acres of private and public forestlands statewide, including 2.8 million acres of federal Bureau of Land Management lands. There are about 30.4 million acres of forest in Oregon.
 
Private landowners’ help key to 2008 success
“As the 2009 fire season gets underway, I especially want to thank private landowners for their firefighting help last year,” South Cascade District Forester Lena Tucker said.
Private landowners together with ODF, the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management, and rural fire departments are a key component of Oregon’s complete and coordinated fire protection system, she said.