All ODF fire protection districts are now in fire season. It's especially important in summer to avoid or be extra careful with any potential source of fire in wooded areas. Fire season means the end of most outdoor activities that are high risk for starting a fire, such as debris burning, campfires outside of designated areas, and using tracer ammunition and exploding targets.













Tuesday, July 31, 2012

NE Oregon District now in Regulated Use Closure



Rising wildfire danger has prompted the Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) Northeast Oregon District to institute a Regulated-Use Closure effective Tuesday, July 31.

The Regulated Use Closure affects private, state, county, municipal, and tribal lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry in seven counties: Union, Baker, Wallowa, Umatilla, and small portions of Malheur, Morrow and Grant. The Regulated Use Closure is intended to protect natural resources and public health and safety.

“Recent warm temperatures and limited rainfall throughout the region have dried wildland fuels and increased the danger of wildland fires,” explains John Buckman, Northeast Oregon District Forester. “Implementing Regulated-Use Closure reduces the potential for human-caused fires to occur and allows firefighters to focus on fires ignited by lightning.”

Limiting human-caused fires within the Northeast Oregon District is the objective of the closure, which includes the following restrictions:

• Open fires are prohibited, including campfires, charcoal fires, cooking fires and warming fires, except at designated locations. Designated locations within the Regulated Use Closure area include these Oregon State Parks: Emigrant Springs, Ukiah Dale, Catherine Creek, Hilgard Junction, Red Bridge, Wallowa Lake, Minam, and Unity Lake. Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels are allowed.

• Smoking is prohibited while traveling, except in vehicles on improved roads, in boats on the water, or at a cleared area.

• Debris burning is prohibited, except in burn barrels for which a valid permit has been issued.

• Non-Industrial chain saw use is prohibited between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Chain saw use is permitted at all other hours, if the following firefighting equipment is present with each operating saw: one axe, one shovel, and one 8 ounce or larger fire extinguisher. In addition, a fire watch is required for at least one hour following the use of each saw.

• Possession of the following firefighting equipment is required while traveling, except on state highways, county roads and driveways: one shovel and one gallon of water or one 2½ pound or larger fire extinguisher.

• Cutting, grinding and welding of metal is prohibited, between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Cutting, grinding and welding of metal is permitted at all other hours, if conducted in a cleared area and if a water supply is present, unless specifically waived by the State Forester.

• Any electric fence controller in use shall be: 1) Listed by a nationally recognized testing laboratory or be certified by the Department of Consumer and Business Services; and 2 ) Operated in compliance with manufacturer’s instructions.

• Use of fireworks is prohibited.

• Mowing of dry and cured grass with power driven equipment is prohibited, between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., except for the commercial culture and harvest of agricultural crops.

Visit our website at www.oregon.gov/ODF/FIELD/NEO/aboutneo.shtml or contact a local Oregon Department of Forestry office for more complete information on ODF Restrictions:

La Grande Unit (541) 963-3168

Baker City Sub-Unit (541) 523-5831

Wallowa Unit (541) 886-2881

Pendleton Unit (541) 276-3491

Please check with your local Forest Service office for fire regulations on National Forest land. Information on Public-Use Restrictions on the Oregon Department of Forestry, Umatilla National Forest and Wallowa Whitman National Forest can be found at http://bmidc.org/index.shtml under Current Information: Fire Restrictions.

Christie Shaw / ODF NE Oregon District

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The purpose of this blog is to provide breaking news about wildfire activity on the forestlands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry. We invite you to post questions or comments you have about current wildfires. Please keep your posts civil and free of profanity. You are also welcome to contact us by email at: information@odf.state.or.us.

Current wildfire info

Cool, wet weather in the winter of 2016-17 ended Oregon's long drought and left a thick snowpack at higher elevations which will take some time to melt. However, even in non-drought years Oregon's warm, dry summers create conditions that allow for fire to start and spread. In an average summer firefighters still see almost a thousand fires on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry.



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Protection jurisdiction

The Oregon Dept. of Forestry protects 16 million acres of private and public forestlands from wildfire. This includes all private forestlands in Oregon as well as state- and local government-owned forests, along with 2.8 million acres of federal Bureau of Land Management lands in the western part of the state. There are about 30.4 million total acres of forest in Oregon.



Fire suppression policy

The department fights fire aggressively, seeking to put out most fires at 10 acres or smaller. This approach minimizes damage to the timber resource and fish and wildlife habitat, and protects lives and property. It also saves money. While suppressing large fires can cost millions of dollars, economic and environmental damage from wildfires can be many times greater.




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Oregon Dept. of Forestry's public information officers in Salem, Ore., maintain this blog. During the wildfire season, we spend much of our time reporting on fires and firefighting to news media and the public.