Industrial Fire Precaution Level to increase to full shutdown in Central Oregon
With fire suppression resources already responding to a number of active wildfires around the Northwest and current fire conditions rating in the 98th percentile, the Prineville District Bureau of Land Management, the Deschutes National Forest, and the Ochoco National Forest, including the Crooked River National Grassland, are moving the Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) to a Level IV beginning this Saturday, July 17.
The fire danger rating system compares current information from remote area weather stations such as temperatures, precipitation, humidity, and fuel moisture, and compares it to historic observations to get an indication of the wildfire potential. Conditions in the highest percentiles predict the greatest chance for a large fire to start and spread.
Effective 12:01 a.m. Saturday, July 17, the IFPL will move to an Industrial Fire Precaution Level IV. The IFPL applies to permitted and industrial operations, including woodcutting, on federal lands.
IFPL IV is considered a complete shutdown and prohibits all commercial and industrial permitted operations on lands managed by the two National Forests and Prineville District BLM. Industrial and permitted operations may request a waiver from the Forest Service or BLM depending on land ownership at the activity location. Commercial and personal use woodcutting remains prohibited.
Fire conditions are extreme around Central Oregon, and fuel moistures remain very low to the point that single sparks from piece of equipment or a dragging chain can ignite a wildfire. The move to IFPL IV is intended to help protect the land, resources and visitors.
Officials carefully consider the current fire situation, fuel moisture and predicted weather before making the decision to implement fire restrictions. Every year lightning-caused fires place a heavy demand on firefighting resources, and put wildlands, firefighters, and communities at risk. Fires caused through carelessness or negligence only increase the threat to life and livelihood and place an even greater burden on already busy firefighters. Every fire that's prevented protects communities and helps firefighters remain available, rested and safe.
For current wildfire information, follow @CentralORFire on Twitter or check the Central Oregon Fire Information blog site http://www.centraloregonfire.org/.
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