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Western Lane District to increase fire restrictions July 24
Contact: Link Smith, 541-935-2283
       
The Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) Western Lane District will increase fire safety restrictions in the forest effective July 24 due to the growing wildfire hazard.
 
ODF’s Link Smith said his district has enjoyed a quiet fire season so far due to the late rains this spring. But that is about to change.
 
“We haven’t had rain in nearly a month-and-a-half,” he said, “and the recent high temperatures have quickly dried out the forest fuels.”
 
Fire danger rose rapidly over the past week, he said, in response to the seasonal transition.
 
The stepped-up fire safety rules, known as a “Regulated-Use Closure,” include 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 campgrounds.  Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels are allowed.
3. Chainsaw use is prohibited in areas subject to Industrial Fire Precaution Levels 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 Levels I and II. 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 8-oz. or larger fire extinguisher.  In addition, a fire watch is required at least one hour following the use of each saw.
5. Use of motorized vehicles, including motorcycles and all terrain vehicles, is prohibited, except on improved roads.
6. Possession of the following firefighting equipment is required while traveling, except on state highways and county roads and driveways: one ax, one shovel, and one gallon of water or one 2-½ lb. or larger fire extinguisher.
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. 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.
 
The Western Lane District protects 750,650 acres of private and public lands in western Lane County from wildfire.
 
For more information on the Regulated-Use Closure, contact the Western Lane District office in Veneta, 541-935-2283.