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Western Lane District raises fire precaution levels
Contact: Link Smith, 541-935-2283
 
The ongoing heat wave has prompted the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Western Lane District to raise the fire safety precaution levels across western Lane County and northern Douglas County. Beginning July 30, most timber harvest activity on the three-quarters of a million acres protected from wildfire by the district will be further restricted.
 
The Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) for the WT-1 zone will move from Level 2 up to Level 3. The IFPL for the SL-2 zone will go from Level 1 to Level 2. Both changes will take effect at 1 a.m. on July 30.
 
The WT-1 zone primarily encompasses that part of the Western Lane district from the floor of the Willamette valley midway into the coast range. The SL-2 zone extends west from the WT-1 boundary to the ocean, encompassing the coastal strip within the district. Once fire season has been declared, an IFPL of 1 is put into place and all operations are required to have firefighting equipment on site as well as providing a fire watch at the end of the day.
 
Under Industrial Fire Precaution Level 2, cable yarding and chainsaw use is prohibited after 1 p.m. and the fire watch time is increased. An IFPL 3 prohibits most cable yarding, requires most heavy equipment to shut down by 1 p.m., restricts chainsaw use to landings only, and further lengthens the required firewatch to three hours after shutdown.
 
A map of the two zones can be viewed on the Department of Forestry Website, www.oregon.gov/ODF/FIRE/precautionlevel.shtml, by clicking on the heading, “Western Lane.”
 
The district imposed fire safety rules on recreational activities in the forest on July 20. These “regulated-use restrictions” limit smoking, campfires and off-road riding of motorized vehicles, among other activities. Details can be found at the above link.