Friday, July 24, 2015

Fire Danger Level Increases Tuesday on ODF-Protected Lands in SW Oregon

The fire danger level on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry in Jackson and Josephine counties rises to “extreme” (red) at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, July 28. This affects 1.8 million acres of state, private, county and Bureau of Land Management lands within ODF’s Southwest Oregon District.

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

The primary difference between current fire prevention regulations and those taking effect Tuesday 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.

Here are the details of the adjusted fire prevention regulations taking effect on July 28:

  • 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 firefighting 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 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.
  • Motor vehicles, including motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles, may only be used on improved roads, except when used for the commercial culture and harvest of agricultural crops.
  • Fireworks are prohibited.
  • Any electric fence controller in use shall be listed be a nationally recognized testing laboratory or be certified by the Department of Consumer and Business Services; and operated in compliance with the manufacturer’s instructions
  • The use of exploding targets is prohibited.
  • The use of tracer ammunition or any bullet with a pyrotechnic charge in its base is prohibited.
  • The use of sky lanterns 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