Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Fire Danger Level Climbs to High on Thursday, July 4 12:01


July 2, 2013                                                                                                          

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SOUTHWEST OREGON NEWS MEDIA

OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FORESTRY                                                             
SOUTHWEST OREGON DISTRICT                                                                       
5286 Table Rock RD
Central Point, OR 97502                                                                                       

Contact: Greg Alexander, Medford Unit Forester, (541) 664-3328
                 Rick Dryer, Grants Pass Unit Forester, (541) 474-3152

 
FIRE DANGER LEVEL CLIMBS TO HIGH ON THURSDAY

IN JOSEPHINE AND JACKSON COUNTIES

Due to a historically dry spring and an abrupt onset of summer weather the fire danger level on Oregon Department of Forestry protected lands in Josephine and Jackson Counties will increase High Fire Danger on Thursday July 4 at 12:00 a.m. Continued hot and dry weather outlooks have made it necessary to the move the next fire danger level which is High. Wild land fire starts are about 30% higher this year than compared to last year on ODF protected lands. Because of the high fire danger public regulated closures are necessary.

The Industrial Fire Precaution Level will remain at level 1 (one).

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.

Public Regulated use restrictions that will remain in effect include:
  1. Use of fireworks on forestlands is prohibited.
  2. Use of tracer ammunition or any bullet with a pyrotechnic charge in its base is prohibited.
  3. No debris burning; including piles and debris burned in burn barrels is prohibited.
These additional fire prevention restrictions go into effect July 4:
  1. Campfires will be allowed in designated campgrounds only; charcoal fires, cooking fires and    warming fires are prohibited except at designated campgrounds. Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels are allowed in some locations.
  2. Mowing of dead or dry grass with power-driven equipment will not be allowed between 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. This restriction does not include mowing of green lawns, or when equipment is used for the commercial culture and harvest of agricultural crops.
  3. Chain saws may not be used between 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. During other hours, 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.
  4. Cutting, grinding and welding of metal is prohibited, between the hours of 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. Cutting, grinding and welding of metal is permitted at all other hours, if conducted in a cleared area and if a water supply is present. 
  5. Blasting is prohibited, between the hours of 1 p.m. and 8 p.m.  Blasting is permitted at all other hours, if conducted in a cleared area and if a water supply is present.
  6. Use of motorized vehicles, including motorcycles and all terrain vehicles, is prohibited, except on improved roads.
  7. Smoking is prohibited while traveling, except in vehicles on improved roads.
  8. Possession of the following firefighting equipment is required while traveling, except on state highways and county roads and driveways: one ax, one shovel, and one gallon of water or one 2-½ lb. or larger fire extinguisher.
  9. Use of exploding targets and tracer ammunition, or any bullet with a pyrotechnic charge in its base, will be prohibited.
  10. Use of sky lanterns is prohibited.
In the Wild and Scenic section of the Rogue River between Grave Creek and Marial, the following fire prevention restrictions will remain in effect:

  • Smoking is prohibited while traveling, except in boats on the water, and on sand or gravel bars that lie between water and high water marks that are free of vegetation.
  • A shovel and a one-gallon or larger bucket are required of all travelers.
  • Fireworks are prohibited
Beginning July 4, these additional restrictions take effect in the Wild and Scenic section of the Rogue River between Grave Creek and Marial:

  • Open fires will be prohibited, including campfires, cooking fires and warming fires. Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels, and charcoal fires for cooking and built in raised fire pans, will be allowed on sand or gravel bars that lie between water and high water marks which are free of vegetation. Ashes must be hauled out.
For further information about fire restrictions in other parts of the Wild and Scenic Section of the Rogue River, contact the Smullin Visitor Center located at the Rand National Historic Site at (541) 479-3735, or your local Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest office. 

Information about fire season restrictions on ODF-protected lands is available online at www.swofire.com  and at ODF Southwest Oregon District unit offices:

  • Medford Unit, 5286 Table Rock Rd: (541) 664-3328
  • Grants Pass Unit, 5375 Monument Dr: (541) 474-3152
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