Oregon Department of Forestry has reduced fire prevention restrictions for lands within the Central Oregon District, as of Sept. 5.
Lands affected include private, county, and municipal lands inside the Central Oregon District Protection Boundary within the following counties: Jefferson, Crook, Deschutes, Wasco, Hood River, Wheeler, Sherman, Umatilla, Grant, Harney, Gilliam, and Lake.
The lessened restrictions reflect a reduced potential for large fire growth based on current fuel conditions, improved humidity recovery, shorter burn periods typical in fall, and the current weather forecast for cooler temperatures and increased precipitation.
The reduced restrictions rescind the Aug. 7 Fire Precaution Order for industrial forest operations restricting certain harvest machinery and operations within the John Day and Prineville-Sisters Units.
Industrial Fire Precaution Level for MH-1 and MH-4 for Wasco and Hood River counties remains at Level 2. Burn bans and local county or fire department restrictions remain in effect. High-risk activities identified in the Regulated Use Closure will be restricted between 1 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Activities that are restricted by the closure include the following:
- Possession of the following 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 2.5-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 1p.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 p.m. 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.
For additional information on ODF's Central Oregon District, including contact information and unit offices, visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.
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