Friday, July 6, 2018

Investigators Confirm Fireworks Caused 115 Acre Wildfire


Crews have completed a fire line around the Atlantic Avenue Fire in White City, halting the potential for further spread in the area. A more accurate measurement of the fire was released this morning putting it at 115 acres. Crews from both Fire District 3 and the Oregon Department of Forestry Southwest Oregon District will continue working on the interior mop up of the fire today.
Firefighters conducted a damage assessment late last night once the fire activity settled down. Multiple vehicles including two RVs, one bus, and six boats; four outbuildings; and one vacant residential structure have been deemed a total loss. There have been no public, firefighter, or animal/pet injuries reported. Crews will continue working with the community in the upcoming days to assess any further damage on personal properties.
After a thorough investigation by Fire District 3, ODF Southwest, and Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, a 14-year-old girl lighting fireworks was found to be the cause of the fire. Deputies will refer the case to the Jackson County District Attorney’s Office for adjudication.
The Atlantic Avenue Fire was first reported just after 4 p.m. Thursday, July 5. The wind-driven fire grew rapidly reaching 100 acres within an hour of ignition. In addition to ODF Southwest and Fire District 3 engines, one of our Rogue Valley Structural Strike Teams was activated bringing additional assistance from Medford Fire-Rescue, Jackson County Fire District 5, Illinois Valley Fire District, Applegate Valley Fire District, and Lake Creek Rural. Highway 140 and Kershaw Road, along with private, residential roadways were temporarily closed for fire traffic and public safety by our law enforcement partners including Oregon State Police, Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Medford Police, and Eagle Point Police. By 8:30 p.m., a majority of the fire’s spread was stopped, and all lanes of traffic were reopened. Firefighters worked overnight to complete the perimeter fire line and begin mop up operations.
We are continuously thankful for our partnerships with our city, county, private and state agencies throughout our region, not to mention the countless community members willing to help their neighbors. Yesterday’s conditions were ripe for a wildfire that could have spread to even greater lengths. Due to the speedy and superb partnership, this fire was deemed “controlled” by nightfall.
We would like to remind everyone that the fire danger level on Oregon Department of Forestry protected lands in Jackson and Josephine counties will remain at “high” (yellow) for the time being. This means that our shut down time for several power-driven tools is from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Please do your part to eliminate any activities that may produce a spark within our community. For a full list of the public fire restrictions currently in place, visit the ODF Southwest Facebook page, or www.swofire.com. For additional fire information within the Fire District 3 coverage area, please visit the Fire District 3 Facebook page.
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Thursday, July 5, 2018

Fire Prevention Regulations Increase for Industrial Operations Saturday


Increased fire danger on forestlands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Southwest Oregon District has made it necessary to increase the fire prevention measures on industrial operations, such as logging sites and other commercial operations. The industrial fire restrictions are separate from the general public. For the public, the “high” (yellow) fire danger level remains in place which was put into effect on July 3.
Industrial Fire Precaution Level II (two) takes effect at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, July 7. This is considered a limited shutdown which includes the following restrictions:
·         The use of fire in any form will be prohibited.
·         The use of power saws will be prohibited, except at loading sites, between 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
·         The use of a feller-buncher with rotary head saws will be prohibited between 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
·         The use of cable yarders will be prohibited between 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
·         Blasting will be prohibited between 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
·         Welding, grinding or cutting of metal will be prohibited between 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
Additionally, commercial operators on forestlands are required to have fire suppression equipment on site and provide watchman service.
These regulations affect all state, county, private and Bureau of Land Management lands in Jackson and Josephine counties. The regulated use zones affected by this proclamation include SW-1, SW-2, SW-3, SW-4, SK-3, RR-1, RR-2 and RR-3, and all forestland within one-eighth of a mile of these zones.

For more information about the Oregon Department of Forestry’s fire season public and industrial restrictions, 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
Fire season information is also available online at our Facebook page: @ODFSouthwest and our website: www.swofire.com.



Monday, July 2, 2018

Fire Danger Level Increases to High Tomorrow


The fire danger level on Oregon Department of Forestry-protected lands in Jackson and Josephine counties will increase to “high” (yellow) tomorrow, July 3, 2018 at 12:01 a.m. The Industrial Fire Precaution Level will remain at level 1 (one).
These restrictions impact 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 will be the biggest change, with a mandatory shutdown time between 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
The following fire prevention restrictions that will go into effect tomorrow, until further notice, are the following:
·         No debris burning, including piles and debris burned in burn barrels;
·         No fireworks on forestlands;
·         Exploding targets and tracer ammunition, or any bullet with a pyrotechnic charge in its base, are prohibited.
·         Smoking while traveling will only be allowed in enclosed vehicles on improved roads, in boats on the water and other specifically designated locations;
·         Open fires are prohibited which includes campfires, charcoal fires, cooking fires and warming fires, except at locations deemed a designated campground. Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels are still allowed;
·         Chain saws may not be used between 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. during high fire danger. During hours outside of this time frame, chain saws may be used but require that the operator have one shovel and one 8-oz or larger fire extinguisher at the work site. A fire watch is also required for one hour after each chainsaw use;
·         Cutting, grinding and welding of metal is not allowed between 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. during high fire danger. These activities will be allowed during hours outside of this time frame only if the work site is cleared of potentially flammable vegetation and other materials, and a water supply is at the job site;
·         The mowing of dead or dried grass with power-driven equipment is not allowed between 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. during high fire danger. This restriction does not include mowing of green lawns, or equipment used for the commercial culture and harvest of agricultural crops;
·         Motorized vehicles, including motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles, will be allowed only on improved roads free of flammable vegetation. One shovel and one gallon of water, or one 2.5 pound or larger fire extinguisher, is required while traveling.
·         Any other spark-emitting internal combustion engine use not specifically mentioned is not allowed between 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. during high fire danger. Use of any spark-emitting internal combustion engine is allowed outside of this time frame only if the work site is cleared of potentially flammable vegetation and other materials, and a water supply is at the job site;
·         Any electric fence controllers must be approved by a nationally recognized testing laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories Inc., 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 fire season public restrictions, 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
Fire season information is also available online at our Facebook page: @ODFSouthwest and our website: www.swofire.com.
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