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West Oregon District increases fire safety restrictions
Contact: Mike Totey, 541-929-3266
 
Effective Tuesday, July 21 at 1 a.m., the West Oregon District of the Department of Forestry will enact a “Regulated-Use” closure on all lands within its protection district boundary. The Regulated-Use closure extends restrictions and preventative measures to the public on all private and Bureau of Land Management forest lands in Benton, Lincoln and Polk counties. The closure is specifically geared to reducing the chance of wildfires starting from public activities in forested areas.
 
“Fire danger is quickly increasing, and we are asking for the public’s help in preventing wildfires this summer,” acting Toledo Forest Unit Supervisor Kyle Williams said. 
 
The heightened restrictions that make up the regulated-use closure affect non-industrial activities in the forest, including the following:
  • Smoking is prohibited while traveling in the forest, except in closed vehicles.
  • Open fires are prohibited, including campfires, charcoal fires, cooking fires and warming fires, except in designated campgrounds.  Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels are allowed.
  • Chainsaw use is prohibited.
  • Use of motorized vehicles, including motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles, is prohibited, except on improved roads.
  • Possession of the following firefighting equipment is required while traveling, except on state highways and county roads and driveways: one shovel, and one gallon of water or one 2-½ pound or larger fire extinguisher.
  • Use of fireworks is prohibited.
  • Cutting, grinding and welding of metal is prohibited.
 
As the summer has progressed, conditions in the forest have gotten warmer and drier, pushing the fire danger up.  The intent of the regulated-use closure is to limit some of the potential ignition sources of forest fires. Human-caused fires continue to be the top cause of forest fires.
 
For further information on the public use restrictions, contact the Oregon Department of Forestry offices in Philomath, Dallas or Toledo.