USFS, BLM up fire danger levels
Hot and dry temperatures have prompted fire officials for the Deschutes and Ochoco national forests and Crooked River National Grassland, along with the Prineville District Bureau of Land Management, to increase the industrial fire precaution level.
The fire danger level remains at high in Central Oregon and fire officials increased the industrial fire precaution level from I to II on July 3. A Level II or "partial hoot owl" means the use of power saws and equipment maintenance may only happen between the hours of 8 p.m. and 1 p.m.
Fire officials encourage the public to be diligent with all ignition sources on public lands. Make sure that all cigarette butts are properly extinguished in an ashtray or dish of water and spark arrestors are in place on all motorized equipment. Additionally, all motorized recreationists should park in areas cleared of vegetation — the undercarriage of a vehicle can be hot enough to start a fire.
The public is reminded to make sure campfires are built in areas void of light fuels, such as grass, and to have an adequate amount of water on hand to ensure that it is "dead out" before leaving the area or going to bed at night. Be sure to "Know Before You Go," whether or not seasonal campfire restrictions are in place, as they already are on portions of the Deschutes, John Day and Crooked rivers, as well as on BLM-administered lands along Lake Billy Chinook.
Officials want to remind the public that using explosive target material, such as Tannerite, and the use of explosives and fireworks continue to be prohibited on all federal lands. Discharging fireworks on federal public lands is punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 and a sentence of up to six months in jail.
For more information, visit www.fs.usda.gov/deschutes or follow on twitter @CentralORFire.
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