The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) says lands it protects in Crook, Deschutes and Jefferson Counties will officially be in fire season starting Monday.
The Prineville-Sisters Unit of ODF’s Central Oregon District made the declaration Thursday. It includes private and non-federal public lands.
“We are monitoring conditions closely across the other units of the Central Oregon District so we can implement Fire Season and other restrictions to prevent wildfires and protect natural resources,” said Gordon Foster, Assistant District Forester, in a statement.
The declaration means:
- No smoking in forest operation areas
- No blasting without a permit
- No use of exploding targets and tracer ammunition
- Backyard debris burning, including in burn barrels, is prohibited
Forest operations are also required to follow these rules:
- Firefighting tools and fire extinguishers on-site
- Power saws must be equipped with a spark arrester and additional restrictions must be followed during use
- Vehicles used in the operation must have a firefighting tool and fire extinguisher
- Fire truck/water wagon on site
- Fire watch
“Implementation of Fire Season is determined by monitoring fuel conditions, fire behavior, long term weather forecasts, and fire activity in the area,” ODF said. “Underlying long term drought conditions in central Oregon have not been mitigated by recent rainstorms. Light fuels quickly dry in windy and warm conditions, increasing the rapid spread of fire.”
A full description of all Fire Season restrictions is available at www.oregon.gov/odf.
ODF-protected lands in The Dalles and John Day units are not included in the declaration.