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Central Oregon District of ODF reports reduced fire danger from cooler, moister weather.

The Central Oregon District of the Oregon Department of Forestry terminated fire season, as of Oct. 12.

Continued cool moist weather over the last few weeks has significantly reduced the fire danger within the Central Oregon District. Fuel conditions in Central Oregon are heavily influenced by weather patterns, and while the risk is diminished, erratic winds and lack of precipitation can quickly cause a rise in fire danger.

Monitoring weather forecasts, following prevention tips, such as having a shovel and water available when burning, and being aware of fire risk, will help limit wildfires this fall.

"We live and work in an environment prone to wildfires; termination of fire season doesn't mean the risk of wildfires is gone," explained Rob Pentzer, acting district forester for the Central Oregon District. "It means the risk is reduced to a point where we can work with landowners, operators, and the public, so they can have campfires and operate chainsaws without restrictions, but are still cautious and aware of the risks."

This year to date, the Central Oregon District has had 74 human-caused fires, up more than 20 percent compared to the 10-year average of 61 and up from the 65 fires in 2017. The fires have burned more than 8,000 acres of land. Fires started by lightning were down by 35 percent, with only 45 fires year-to-date versus the 10-year average of 70.

The information below is specific to the various units within the Central Oregon District.

Prineville-Sisters Unit - Residential open burning is still prohibited within Jefferson , Deschutes and Crook counties. Check with your local fire departments for the most current restrictions within the area that you live. Industrial slash burning requires a burn permit from the local ODF office in Prineville or Sisters.

The Dalles Unit - The seasonal burn ban in Wasco and Hood River counties terminate Oct. 15. Check with local fire departments to determine if a burn permit is needed before burning. Logging debris and slash burning requires a burn permit from the local ODF office in The Dalles.

John Day Unit - ODF does not require burn permits for burning yard debris. Contact your local fire department to determine if a permit is necessary prior to burning. Use caution when burning yard debris; never leave a fire unattended and monitor weather forecasts before deciding to burn. A burn permit from ODF is required before burning logging slash or debris from fuel reduction activities. Contact the John Day ODF office to obtain a permit.

If you have questions, contact your local Oregon Department of Forestry Office. Contact information is available at www.odfcentraloregon.com.

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