Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Fire Danger Extreme on Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest

Fire managers have raised fire danger on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest’s High Cascades, Siskiyou Mountains and Wild Rivers Ranger Districts to extreme.  Prolonged abnormally dry conditions, which are expected to persist and intensify through the summer months, along with the recent triple digit temperatures in the inland areas of southwest Oregon have accelerated the drying of forest fuels, increasing the potential for rapid fire spread and resistance to control efforts.

Public Use Restrictions for that part of the Rogue Wild and Scenic River managed by the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest from Marial to Watson Creek will also increase effective Wednesday, July 24, 2013.  These restrictions include:

Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire except: In commercially produced pressurized liquid or gas stoves.  Cooking areas are to be naturally free of vegetation below the high water mark from Marial downstream to the mouth of Watson Creek.  Each group must have a shovel and bucket.

Smoking except within the following locations:  While aboard a watercraft while navigating, or at rest, on a waterway or on sand and gravel bars between the river and the high water mark naturally free of flammable vegetation. 

“Our fire potential indices are reaching record levels on the interior portion of the Forest,” noted Fire Staff Kevin Donham.  “A Fuels and Fire Behavior Advisory was issued to fire managers over the weekend for much of the southwest Oregon area indicating current fire behavior is at a level two to four weeks ahead of average for this time of year.  All wildland firefighting agencies in the area have their guard up under these types of conditions. We are urging the public to respect the restrictions put in place on both public and private lands in order to minimize the chance of human caused fires during these severe conditions.”

Public Use Restrictions on smoking, campfires, internal combustion engines and other forest activities are located at www.fs.usda.gov/rogue-siskiyou or any Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest office.  The Industrial Fire Precaution Level remains at Level II or “partial hoot-owl”, restricting the use of power saws, cable yarding, blasting and welding for all contractors and permit holders from 8 p.m. to 1 p.m.