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ODF restricts public use to limit preventable fire ignitions, so firefighters can focus on lightning fires.

The Central Oregon District of the Oregon Department of Forestry has implemented a regulated-use closure, which went into effect June 29.

The lands in the closure include private, municipal and state lands protected by the Central Oregon District. "Recent fire activity has shown a significant potential for rapid fire growth," said Rob Pentzer, assistant district forester. "We are looking to reduce potential fire starts from high-risk activities."

The public use restrictions included in the regulated-use closure are intended to limit preventable ignitions, allowing firefighters to focus on fires started by lightning.

Requirements and restrictions from the closure include the following:

- Possession of certain firefighting equipment is required while traveling in a motorized vehicle, except on federal and state highways, county roads and driveways: one shovel and one gallon of water or one operational 2 1/2-pound or larger fire extinguisher, except all-terrain vehicles and motorcycles, which must be equipped with an approved spark arrestor in good working condition.

- Smoking is prohibited while traveling, except in vehicles on improved roads.

- Open fires are prohibited, including campfires, charcoal fires, cooking fires and warming fires, except in designated areas.

- 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 axe, one shovel, and one operational 8-ounce or larger fire extinguisher. In addition, a fire watch is required at least one hour following the use of each saw.

- Mowing of dried grass with power-driven equipment is prohibited, between the hours of 1 and 8 p.m., except for the commercial culture and harvest of agricultural crops.

- Use of motor vehicles, including motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles, is prohibited, except on improved roads and except for vehicle use by a landowner and employees of the landowner upon their own land while conducting activities associated with their livelihood.

- The use of fireworks and blasting is prohibited.

Additional restrictions and the full proclamation can be accessed at www.Oregon.gov/ODF/Fire/Pages/Restrictions.aspx.

Burning, including in burn barrels, is also prohibited in Hood River and Wasco counties.

The public is also reminded that the use of tracer ammunition or exploding targets is illegal within the district during fire season. Since Jan. 1, 2017, sky lanterns and other luminaries have been prohibited in Oregon.

For additional information on ODF's Central Oregon District, including contact information and unit offices, visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.

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