Thursday, June 23, 2016


Spring moisture has helped drought conditions ease in Northeast Oregon.  However, the forecast is calling for hotter and dryer weather over the next few days.  This weather forecast has prompted Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) fire managers to declare FIRE SEASON beginning at 12:01 a.m., Tuesday, June 28 for forest and range lands protected by ODF Northeast Oregon District.  “Spring moisture is always great, but now we have stands of tall grass.  Those fine fuels are what really dries out fast and can carry a fire in the early part of the season.”  Matt Howard, Unit Forester for Wallowa said.  A fire season declaration places fire prevention restrictions on landowners and public.  Additionally, fire prevention regulations on industrial logging and forest management activities are put into place.  Lands affected include private, state, county, municipal, and tribal lands in Union, Baker, Wallowa, and Umatilla counties along with small portions of Malheur, Morrow and Grant counties within the Northeast Oregon Forest Protection District.  This area encompasses approximately 2 million protected acres.  Landowners and recreationists are urged to use caution in areas of dry, cured vegetation.  Howard states “The grass is really tall in some areas.  While the drought conditions aren’t as severe as they might have been last year at this time, we are still asking people who work, play and live in the forest to use caution and prevent fires.”

During Fire Season:

·          Burn Permits for burn barrels and all open burning except camp fires are required on all private forest and range lands within the Northeast Forest Protection District of the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF).  Contact your local ODF office in La Grande, Baker City, Wallowa, or Pendleton to acquire a Burn Permit.
·          Landowners who conducted burning of slash piles last fall and this past spring are encouraged to check the piles to ensure that they are completely out and all heat is gone.   It is not uncommon for recently burned slash piles to retain heat in them for several months after the actual burning of the piles. 
·          Logging and other industrial operations must meet requirements for fire prevention, such as fire tools, water supply, and watchman service when those operations are occurring on lands protected by ODF.  Contact your local Stewardship Forester at any ODF office for more information.
·          Campfires must be DEAD OUT!  Recreationists are reminded that campfires need to be attended and fully extinguished before being left.  Get permission from the landowner prior to starting a campfire. 

For further information, contact the Oregon Department of Forestry at these local offices:
               La Grande Unit                  (541) 963-3168
               Baker City Sub-Unit         (541) 523-5831
               Wallowa Unit                     (541) 886-2881
               Pendleton Unit                   (541) 276-3491

To report a fire, dial 9-1-1. 

For information on the weekends call:
                Blue Mountain Interagency Dispatch Center    La Grande        (541) 963-7171

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 under Current Information: Fire Restrictions. is your spot for current fire information in the Blue Mountains. 


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