Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Fire Season is Ending but Fire Prevention Never Stops

Oregon Department of Forestry fire officials are officially ending the 2016 fire season on Southwest Oregon District-protected lands Thursday, October 13 at 12:00 a.m.

The conclusion of fire season is a result of cooler temperatures and continued rainfall throughout Jackson and Josephine counties.

The fire prevention regulations put into effect on June 30 will no longer be enforced. This impacts 1.8 million acres of state, private, county, city and Bureau of Land Management lands in Jackson and Josephine counties.
Although fire season is coming to a close, it does not mean that there is no danger of wildfire. The end of fire season eases restrictions on activities that often can start a fire but does not relieve a person of responsibility for their actions.
Residents need to remember that it is everyone’s responsibility to practice fire prevention protocol. When burning or using any type of fire in the woods or yard, make sure to be in attendance and maintain control of your burn at all times. Clear above and around your burn, with firefighting equipment nearby as a precaution. Residents should contact their local fire department before conducting any burning as restrictions vary among local fire districts.
The firefighters and staff at the Oregon Department of Forestry Southwest Oregon District would like to thank all partnering agencies, support staff and the public for their continued cooperation this fire season.
For more information, please call or visit the Southwest Oregon District unit office nearest to you:
·         Medford Unit, 5286 Table Rock Rd., Central Point. (541) 664-3328
·         Grants Pass Unit, 5375 Monument Dr., Grants Pass. (541) 474-3152
Information is also available online at www.swofire.com.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Fire Restrictions Lower Today, Fire Season Remains in Effect

The wet weather and cooler temperatures has prompted the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Southwest Oregon District to drop the fire danger level to “Low” (green) today.
These changes affect 1.8 million acres of state, private, county, city and Bureau of Land Management lands in Jackson and Josephine counties that are protected by ODF Southwest Oregon District.
Dry conditions by the weekend could still pose a risk; however, rain returns again next week reducing the chance for difficult fires. Fire managers will reevaluate the upcoming conditions in order to determine if fire season can be terminated soon.
The fire prevention regulations put into effect on June 30 will be modified to the following:
• No debris burning, this includes piles and debris burned in burn barrels;
In addition to the modified public use restrictions, under state law, the use of tracer ammunition, exploding targets and sky lanterns is prohibited as long as fire season remains.
For more information about the Oregon Department of Forestry’s public regulated use regulations, please call or visit the Southwest Oregon District unit office nearest to you:
• Medford Unit, 5286 Table Rock Rd., Central Point. (541) 664-3328
• Grants Pass Unit, 5375 Monument Dr., Grants Pass. (541) 474-3152

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Fire Restrictions Drop to Moderate on Sunday

The lower temperatures and forecasted rainfall has prompted the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Southwest Oregon District to drop the fire danger level to “Moderate” (blue) Sunday, October 2, 2016.
In addition, the Industrial Fire Precaution Level will reduce to level I (one), also effective tomorrow.
The fire prevention regulations put into effect on June 30 remain in force. These regulations listed below affect 1.8 million acres of state, private, county, city and Bureau of Land Management lands in Jackson and Josephine counties that are protected by ODF’s Southwest Oregon District.
Fire prevention regulations currently in effect, and which will remain in effect, include:
·         No debris burning, including piles and debris burned in burn barrels;
·         No firework use on forestlands;
·         Exploding targets and tracer ammunition, or any bullet with a pyrotechnic charge in its base, are prohibited;
·         No sky lanterns may be used in wildland and forestland areas.
For more information about the Oregon Department of Forestry’s public regulated use regulations, please call or visit the Southwest Oregon District unit office nearest to you:
·         Medford Unit, 5286 Table Rock Rd., Central Point. (541) 664-3328

·         Grants Pass Unit, 5375 Monument Dr., Grants Pass. (541) 474-3152

Monday, September 26, 2016

New Pocketcard and Stats Now Available

Cooler weather and precipitation will continue the downward trend in ERC values and overall fire danger. During the forecast period we will have a sharp decrease in daily high temps. For the latest pocketcard and stat sheet please see the SWO Fire Data website.


Thursday, September 22, 2016

New Lightning Maps Now Available

Scattered lightning occurred last night across the region in both Jackson and Josephine County. For the latest lighting maps please visit the SWO Fire Data website

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Fire Danger Level Drops to High Tomorrow

Cooler temperatures and higher humidity across southwest Oregon have made it possible to ease off on some of the fire prevention regulations. However, warm and dry weather is expected to return to the region by the weekend.
The fire danger level on Oregon Department of Forestry-protected lands in Jackson and Josephine counties will be lowered to “high” (yellow) tomorrow, September 22, 2016 at 12:00 a.m. The Industrial Fire Precaution Level will remain at level 2 (two).
These regulations affect 1.8 million acres of state, private, county, city and Bureau of Land Management lands protected by ODF’s Southwest Oregon District.
Restrictions on the public use of chain saws, brush cutters and other power-driven or spark-emitting machinery are being slightly relaxed, allowing the use of equipment until 10:00 a.m. and after 8 p.m. Today will be the last day power-driven and/or spark-emitting machinery is completely prohibited.
Other fire prevention regulations which will remain in effect, include:
·         No debris burning, including piles and debris burned in burn barrels;
·         No firework use on forestlands;
·         Exploding targets and tracer ammunition, or any bullet with a pyrotechnic charge in its base, are prohibited;
·         No sky lanterns may be used in wildland and forestland areas.
·         Campfires are allowed only in designated campgrounds. Portable stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels may be used in other locations;
·         Motorized vehicles are allowed only on improved roads;
·         Chain saws may be used until 10:00 a.m. and after 8:00 p.m. Chain saw users must have an ax, a shovel and an 8-oz or larger fire extinguisher at the job site, and a fire watch is required for one hour after the saw is shut down;
·         Mowing of dead or dry grass with power-driven equipment is allowed until 10:00 a.m., and may resume after 8:00 p.m. This restriction does not apply to mowing green lawns, or to equipment used for the commercial culture and harvest of agricultural crops;
·         The cutting, grinding or welding of metal are allowed until 10:00 a.m. and after 8:00 p.m. These activities may only take place at a site cleared of potentially flammable vegetation and other materials, and with a water supply at the job site;
·         Any other spark-emitting internal combustion engine not specifically mentioned is permitted during high fire danger before 10:00 a.m. and after 8:00 p.m. as long as it is conducted in a cleared area and has a charged garden hose or one 2 ½ pound or larger fire extinguisher immediately available.
·         Smoking is prohibited while traveling, except in enclosed vehicles on improved roads, in boats on the water, and other designated locations;
·         Electric fence controllers must be approved by a nationally recognized testing laboratory, or be certified by the Department of Consumer and Business Services, and be installed and used in compliance with the fence controller’s instructions for fire safe operation.
For more information about the Oregon Department of Forestry’s public regulated use regulations, or Industrial Fire Precaution Levels, please call or visit the Southwest Oregon District unit office nearest to you:
·         Medford Unit, 5286 Table Rock Rd., Central Point. (541) 664-3328
·         Grants Pass Unit, 5375 Monument Dr., Grants Pass. (541) 474-3152



Monday, September 19, 2016

New Pocketcard and Stats Now Available

With cooler temps and shorter days ERC values and fire danger persist. Even cooler temperatures will continue through the forecast period. This will allow some easing of fire danger, however the biggest change will occur when precipitation arrives. For the latest pocketcard and stats please visit the SWO Fire Data website.