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Increased fire restrictions start July 21 in central Oregon
Contacts: Angie Johnson, 541-575-1139
Rod Nichols, 503-945-7425    
             
Rising wildfire danger has prompted the Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) Central Oregon District to institute a Regulated-Use Closure starting at 6 a.m. on Wednesday, July 21. All lands protected by the district will be placed under heightened fire safety restrictions at that time, including forestland within one-eighth mile of the district boundary. 
 
“We are approaching a period of serious wildfire risk,” said Central Oregon District Forester George Ponte.  “The moderating effect of the wet spring has finally diminished with the continued dry and hot weather. Restrictions have been set to prevent the start of any human-caused fires.” 
Limiting human-caused fires within the Central Oregon District is the objective of the closure, which includes the following restrictions:
  • Smoking is prohibited while traveling, except in vehicles on improved roads.
  • Open fires are prohibited, including campfires that are not in designated areas (designated areas are those that have been inspected; generally contain fire grates and are signed as such), charcoal fires, cooking fires and warming fires. Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels are allowed. Open fires are allowed if conducted in compliance with a valid Burning Permit issued under special circumstances by Oregon Department of Forestry.
  • Chainsaw use is prohibited between the hours of 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. Chainsaw use is permitted at all other hours, if the following firefighting equipment is present with each operating saw: one ax, one shovel and one operational 8 oz. or larger fire extinguisher. In addition, a fire watch is required for at least one hour following the use of each chainsaw.
  • Cutting, grinding and welding of metal is prohibited between the hours of 1 p.m. and 8 p.m.
  • Cutting, grinding and welding of metal is permitted at all other hours, if conducted in a cleared area and if a water supply is present. 
  • Mowing of grass with power driven equipment is prohibited between the hours of 10 a.m. and 8 p.m., except for the commercial culture and harvest of agricultural crops.
  • Use of all motorized vehicles is prohibited, including motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles, except on improved roads or for the commercial culture and harvest of agricultural crops. All-terrain vehicles and motorcycles must be equipped with an approved spark arrestor.
  • Possession of firefighting equipment is required while traveling in a motorized vehicle, except on federal and state highways, county roads and driveways. Required firefighting equipment includes: one shovel and one gallon of water, or one operational 2-1/2 pound or larger fire extinguisher.
  • Use of fireworks is prohibited. Blasting is prohibited.
  • Electric fence controllers shall be listed by a nationally recognized testing laboratory or certified by Department of Consumer and Business Services and must be operated per manufacturer’s instructions.  
     
For more information, visit the Oregon Department of Forestry website at: www.oregon.gov/ODF/FIELD/COD/aboutus.shtml or contact the local ODF unit office in Central Oregon District:
 
Prineville Unit  541-447-5658
John Day Unit  541-575-1139
The Dalles Unit 541-296-4626
 
Please check restrictions before conducting activity on any land.
 
The Central Oregon District provides wildfire protection to 12 counties including: Harney, Morrow, Grant, Wheeler, Gilliam, Umatilla, Hood River, Wasco, Deschutes, Crook, Jefferson and Lake.