Current situation

Check with your local district or forest protection association for restrictions or use ODF's fire restrictions and closures web page for the latest details at https://www.oregon.gov/ODF/Fire/Pages/Restrictions.aspx.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Regulated forest closure ends in ODF's Central Oregon District


PRINEVILLE, Ore. - Over the last few weeks cooler temperatures and increased precipitation have reduced the fire danger throughout central Oregon. As a result of this reduced fire danger, the Regulated Closure on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Central Oregon District ended today (Tuesday, Oct. 3). These restrictions were in place to limit human-caused fires during high fire danger when rapid fire growth may occur.

While fire danger is reduced, the potential for fires to burn uncontrolled or ignite due to carelessness remains. Prineville Unit Forester Gordon Foster reminds us, "We need the public to maintain a high level of awareness and be vigilant in their prevention actions. The risk of fire is reduced, not eliminated."

Above: It's October but fire season is still in effect 
on lands protected by ODF's Central Oregon District,
 
Fire season is still in effect for the Central Oregon District, with restrictions still in effect on the use of tracer ammunition and exploding targets as well as other forestry activities.

While campfires are allowed on ODF-protected lands in central Oregon, open burning in The Dalles Unit and Prineville-Sisters Unit requires burn permits. This includes yard debris and burning forestry slash. Never leave a fire unattended, whether a campfire or debris burn. To reduce the risk of an uncontrolled fire:
  • always clear the area around the burn area
  • have tools handy
  • follow all requirements on your permit
Other safe burning practices can be found online at www.keeporegongreen.org. Debris burning in the John Day Unit, including the Fossil Sub-Unit, is prohibited during fire season. Information for obtaining burn permits from the Central Oregon District can be found at www.ODFcentraloregon.com.

The Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) for MH-1 and MH-4 in Hood River and Wasco counties has been reduced to Level 1. Requirements for industrial operators and a map of this area can be found at https://gisapps.odf.oregon.gov/firerestrictions/ifpl.html. Fire season restrictions are still in place in COD, including requirements for hand tools, fire watch, equipment standards, and water supply. Smoking is not allowed while working or traveling in an operation area.

ODF’s Central Oregon District includes private lands in Crook, Deschutes, Grant, Hood River, Jefferson, Wasco, Wheeler, Gilliam, Morrow, and Harney counties, as well as small parts of Umatilla and Lake counties. Landowners, local agencies, and land managers may have additional restrictions in place, always check to be certain you are in compliance. Federal land public use restrictions are available at local National Forest offices, or on their websites.

So far in 2017 human-caused fires have accounted for 60 percent of
fires in the Central Oregon District, an increase of 15 percent over the district’s 10-year average. Uncontrolled fires damage our natural resources including air, water, and soil. For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com

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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 about current wildfires. Please keep your posts civil and free of profanity.

Current wildfire info

National weather forecasters predictions that Oregon would see above average temperatures and below average rainfall in the summer of 2018 proved true. Almost all of Oregon was abnormally dry this summer, with a majority of the state in moderate to severe drought. Many areas posted record high temperatures or record strings of hot days. These conditions set the stage for potentially large, fast-moving wildfires.


What we do

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. In total there are about 30.4 million 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.