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ODF West Lane, So. Cascade districts declare fire season July 1
Contact: Lena Tucker, 541-726-3588, or
Dave Lorenz, 503-935-2283 
 
The Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) Western Lane and South Cascade Districts announced today that fire season will begin on July 1 in Lane county and eastern Linn county.
The Western Lane District protects 750,650 acres of private and public lands from wildfire in western Lane County, and the South Cascade District protects more than 1.1 million acres of private and public lands from wildfire within eastern Lane and eastern Linn counties.
 
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 districts 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
 
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 just under 27,000 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 29, nine lightning-caused fires have burned only one acre on lands protected by ODF. During that period, 59 human-caused fires burned about 55 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.
 
Coordinated fire protection system key to success
“As the 2010 fire season gets underway, I especially want to thank the private landowners for their diligence in preventing wildfires on forestland,” 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.
 
Fire indices rising
Western Lane District Forester Dave Lorenz noted that the unusual weather conditions of recent months should not give rise to complacency about the wildfire threat. 
 
“We’ve been fortunate to have had a very wet spring,” he said. “However, fire indices are now nearing seasonal averages, which means forest fuels are drying out.”