Saturday, July 19, 2014

About Power-Driven Equipment

Regulated use language frequently refers to power-driven equipment, which generally are machines that use internal combustion engines. It doesn't specifically include battery-powered equipment and other equipment powered by an electric motor.
 
In either case, care must be taken when operating equipment -- whether gasoline-powered or electric -- in dry vegetation. Don't rest the power head on dry grass or other litter, and watch for spark-caused ignitions where you have recently been working. Even battery powered string trimmers have sparked fires in dry grass. Also take care when using electric hand tools near dry vegetation. Even battery powered tools can generate sparks, which can cause a wildfire.
 
You may be OK to use electrical equipment in dry vegetation after the posted shutdown time, but if the equipment causes sparks that start a wildfire, you'll likely get a citation and a bill for fire suppression costs.
 
Always have a water supply or fire extinguisher at the site where you'll be using equipment, and do a fire watch after you shut down.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Surrey Drive Fire Halted at 9 Acres



A joint effort by the Oregon Dept. of Forestry, Jackson County Fire Districts 3 and 5, Medford Fire-Rescue, the US Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management stopped a nearly 9-acre wildfire on Surrey Dr., two miles south of Medford off Dark Hollow Rd.

The fire was reported at 2:30 p.m. today.

ODF responded with five engines, a bulldozer and a helicopter. The fire blazed through dry grass, a pear orchard and oak woodland before engine crews knocked down the head and the bulldozer carved in a fire line.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

 

Fire Restrictions Tighten in Rogue River Wild & Scenic Section

No Open Fires Allowed From Grave Creek to Watson Creek

The fire danger level rises to “Extreme” (red) at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, July 19, in the Wild & Scenic Section of the Rogue River. The Oregon Dept. of Forestry protects the Bureau of Land Management section of the river between Grave Creek and Marial, and the Rogue River Siskiyou National Forest protects the section from Marial downstream to Watson Creek.

Here are the regulations going into effect tomorrow:
  • Smoking will be prohibited except in boats on the water, and on naturally vegetation-free gravel bars and sand bars below the river’s high-water mark.
  • Open fires will be prohibited, including camp fires, charcoal fires, cooking fires and warming fires. However, portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels will be allowed on naturally vegetation-free gravel bars and sand bars below the high-water mark
  • Travelers must carry a shovel and bucket (one-gallon size).
  • Fireworks will be prohibited.
For further information about fire restrictions in all 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.

For more information about the Oregon Department of Forestry’s fire season regulations, contact the unit office in your area:
  • Medford Unit, 5286 Table Rock Rd., Central Point. Phone: (541) 664-3328
  • Grants Pass Unit, 5375 Monument Drive, Grants Pass. Phone: (541) 474-3152
Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest fire prevention regulations are posted online at www.fs.usda.gov/rogue-siskiyou.

Fire Danger Jumps to Extreme Tomorrow

A long period of temperatures hovering around 100 degrees has cooked southwest Oregon vegetation into a tinder-dry condition. In response, the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Southwest Oregon District is raising the fire danger level to “extreme” (red) at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, July 19.

The Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) will remain at Level 2 (two).

The primary difference between current fire prevention regulations and those taking effect tomorrow affects power-driven equipment, such as chain saws and mowers. Power-driven equipment will be required to shut down at 10:00 a.m. instead of 1:00 p.m. And users of other power-driven, spark-emitting equipment, such as wood splitters and generators, must also shut down at 10:00 a.m. Equipment use may resume after 8:00 p.m. In all cases, a fire watch of at least one hour should take place after the equipment is shut down.

Also, there is a fire prevention regulation being added prohibiting the use of sky lanterns on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry.

Here are the details of the adjusted and new regulations taking effect tomorrow:
  • Chain saw use will be prohibited between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.  Chain saw use will be permitted at all other hours, if the following fire fighting equipment is present with each operating saw: one axe, one shovel, and one 8-ounce or larger fire extinguisher.  In addition, a fire watch will be required at least one hour following the use of each saw.
  • The cutting, grinding and welding of metal will be prohibited between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.  These activities will be permitted during other hours if conducted in a cleared area and if a water supply is present.
  • The mowing of dry or dead grass with power-driven equipment will be prohibited between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. This will not apply to the mowing of green lawns, or the use of equipment for the commercial culture and harvest of agricultural crops.
  • The operation of any other spark-emitting machinery not specifically mentioned above will be prohibited between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.
  • The use of sky lanterns will be prohibited.
The following fire prevention regulations are currently in effect and will remain in effect until the fire danger level drops significantly:
  • Smoking is prohibited while traveling, except in vehicles on improved roads.
  • Debris burning is prohibited.
  • Burn barrel use is prohibited.
  • Open fires are prohibited, including campfires, charcoal fires, cooking fires and warming fires, except in approved fire rings at designated campgrounds.  In other locations, portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels are allowed.
  • Use of motor vehicles, including motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles, is prohibited, except on improved roads or for the commercial culture and harvest of agricultural crops.
  • Use of fireworks is prohibited.
  • Any electric fence controller in use shall be: 1) Listed be a nationally recognized testing laboratory or be certified by the Department of Consumer and Business Services; and 2) Operated in compliance with manufacturer’s instructions
  • Use of exploding targets is prohibited.
  • Use of tracer ammunition or any bullet with a pyrotechnic charge in its base is prohibited.
For more information about the Oregon Department of Forestry’s fire season regulations, contact the unit office in your area:
  • Medford Unit, 5286 Table Rock Rd., Central Point. Phone: (541) 664-3328
  • Grants Pass Unit, 5375 Monument Drive, Grants Pass. Phone: (541) 474-3152