Despite last week’s rain, over half an inch in some areas, the forests have already dried out.
The fine fuels—the grass and small bushes—are already bone dry and ready to burn.
The public should expect fire use restrictions to continue for a little while longer.
“We did see a little bit of improvement with our finer fuels after this past week’s moisture,” said Jaimie Olle, Public Affairs Specialist for the Deschutes National Forest.
“Some of our heavier fuels like trees and thicker shrubs will still need a considerable bit of moisture before we start to see those improvements. We had a really dry summer so it will take a really long time for things to improve.”
Campfires, smoking, wood stoves, parking on dry grass, chainsaws, explosives and fireworks remain on the list of prohibited actions in the national forests.
“Officials are meeting weekly to discuss what levels look like and when they might change,” Olle said. “Those discussions are ongoing but, at this time we are asking folks to maintain what they’ve been doing, no campfires and being very careful while they are out in the forest.”
Oregon Department of Forestry is easing fire prevention restrictions on industrial forest operations on ODF-protected lands effective midnight, Sept. 14.
It means commercial timber harvest activities such as use of power saws, feller-bunchers with rotary head saws and cable-yarding of logs, can resume during morning hours on state protected forests.
Commercial operators must post fire watches each day after they shut down.