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So. Cascade District tightens fire safety restrictions
Contact: Greg Wagenblast, 541-726-3588
 
The Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) South Cascade District, located in Linn County and the eastern portion of Lane County, tightened fire safety restrictions in the forest effective July 22 due to the rising wildfire hazard.
 
“Fire danger has greatly increased,” said ODF Forester Greg Wagenblast. “A fire start in the forest now could spread rapidly.”
 
Over the past week, grasses and forest fuels have dried to the point that they now ignite readily. The district has been responding to wildland fires from escaped campfires.
 
The heightened restrictions, known as a “Regulated-Use Closure,” affect non-industrial activities in the forest, including the following:
 
1. Smoking is prohibited while traveling, except in vehicles on improved roads, in boats on the water, and on sand or gravel bars that lie between water and high water marks that are free of vegetation.
2. Open fires are prohibited, including campfires, charcoal fires, cooking fires and warming fires, except at designated locations.  Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels are allowed.
3. Chainsaw use is prohibited in areas subject to Industrial Fire Precaution Level III  and IV.
4. Chainsaw use is prohibited, between the hours of 1 p.m. and 8 p.m., in areas subject to Industrial Fire Precaution Level I and II. Chainsaw use is permitted at all other hours, if the following firefighting equipment is present with each operating saw: one axe, one shovel, and one operational 8 ounce or larger fire extinguisher.  In addition, a fire watch is required at least one 1 hour following the use of each saw.
5. Use of motorized vehicles, including motorcycles and all terrain vehicles, is prohibited, except on improved roads or for the commercial culture and harvest of agricultural crops.
6. All motor vehicles must be equipped with one gallon of water or one operational 2-½ pound or larger fire extinguisher, one axe, and one shovel, except when traveling on state and county roads.  All-terrain vehicles and motorcycles must be equipped with one operational 2-½ pound or larger fire extinguisher, except when traveling on state and county roads.
7. Use of fireworks is prohibited.
8. 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. 
9. Use of exploding targets is prohibited.
10. Mowing of dried and cured grass with power driven equipment is prohibited, between the hours of 1 p.m. and 8 p.m., except for the commercial culture and harvest of agricultural crops.
11. Blasting is prohibited, between the hours of 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. Blasting is permitted at all other hours, if conducted in a cleared area and if a water supply is present.
 
More information may be obtained by calling Oregon Department of Forestry’s South Cascade District office in Springfield, 541-726-3588.