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