FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Distribution: Major Media
August 21, 2015 Contact: Shirl Fredenburg, (541) 336-2273
Northwest Oregon is currently experiencing fire danger not seen in recent memory and weather forecasts don’t provide any relief. Forest fuels are at record dry levels and forecasts for this weekend indicate it will continue to be hot and dry. Everyone should be concerned.
The Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) West Oregon District is currently engaged in fighting the Willamina Creek Fire approximately 9 miles north of the community of Willamina. Four cabins were evacuated as a result of the fire and forest resources have been lost. Estimated to be about 140 acres, this fire is under investigation, but it is believed to have been human-caused, possibly by recreational activities. In addition to the Willamina Creek Fire, the District’s firefighters continue their daily work of responding to reports of smoke and fire throughout the District. All of these fire activities stretch available resources very thin.
This fire season gives managers pause and calls attention to the need for everyone to exercise extreme caution in the forest and elsewhere. Land managers have tightened fire restrictions over the last week over much of the state.
On lands protected by ODF in the West Oregon District, public use restrictions, which limit campfires, chainsaw use, and mowing of dry grass and require forest travelers to carry fire tools, have been in place since mid-June, weeks earlier than in recent years.
Before you head out to the forest, parks or beaches for your weekend plans, take a moment to learn the fire restrictions for that area. You can find out more about fire rules by contacting the local ODF office.
In Benton County contact the ODF – Philomath office (541) 929-3266In Lincoln County contact the ODF – Toledo office (541) 336-2273
In Polk and southwest Yamhill County contact the ODF – Dallas Office (503) 934-8146
Or by using ODF’s interactive map of forest restriction here: http://www.oregon.gov/odf/pages/fire/precautionlevelmap.aspx
Every person has a role in preventing wildfires.