ODF Central Oregon fire season begins Friday; new restrictions in place

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The Oregon Department of Forestry says the 2023 fire season on lands it protects will begin Friday at 12:01 a.m., and that means restrictions for people in or near those areas.

The fire danger level on ODF lands will be considered “moderate.” The Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) will be I (one) in MH-4 and MH-1 (Hood River and Wasco counties). 

ODF said it was hoped the above-normal snowpack this winter would create a more optimistic outlook for fire season. But there wasn’t much spring rain. That, plus rising temperatures and winds, have dried fuels significantly.

There were 22 fires so far this year, ODF said. Half of those were escaped debris burns.

“Debris burning is the number one cause of human-caused fires. As we move into fire season, debris burning will be prohibited,” ODF said. It recommends that debris piles be covered up until fall when it’s safer to burn.

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ODF said the following restrictions will go into effect Friday.

  • No debris burning, including piles and debris burned in burn barrels. 
  • No fireworks on or within 1/8 of a mile of ODF-protected land. 
  • Exploding targets and tracer ammunition, or any bullet with a pyrotechnic charge in its base, are prohibited. 
  • No smoking while traveling through or working in any operation area.

In addition to the fire prevention requirements Under IFPL I (one), the following will go into effect:

  • A Firewatch is required for a minimum of one hour during breaks and at the end of the operational period.

Additional fire restrictions or regulations may apply depending on the various fire risks throughout the fire season.

For more information on the Central Oregon District and fire season regulations, visit https://odfcentraloregon.com/. Check your local restrictions at https://www.oregon.gov/odf/fire/pages/restrictions.aspx


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