Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Precipitation Eases Some Restrictions on Private Lands

The recent rains across the region have allowed officials with the Oregon Department of Forestry in Northeast Oregon District to reassess and adjust the fire restrictions for private lands. 

“The recent moisture has reduced fire danger enough to allow for more activities in the woods.  We’re just at a point where we feel easing our fire restrictions is justified. However, there’s still a need for caution when out enjoying the woods.” Said Mitch Williams, Wildland Fire Supervisor, La Grande Unit.  “Conditions could rapidly change back to warm and windy and fuels could quickly dry back out”.

The fire season regulations and Regulated Use Closure will still be in effect.  Regulated Use Closure is being lowered from Phase 2 to Phase 1.  The Regulated Use Closure affects private, state, county, municipal, and tribal lands in seven counties: Union, Baker, Wallowa, Umatilla, and small portions of Malheur, Morrow, and Grant Counties.  Effective September 7, 2016 at 12:01 a.m. the following regulations apply to lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry Northeast Oregon District:

·  Open fires are prohibited, including campfires, charcoal fires, cooking fires and warming fires, except at designated locations.  Designated locations with the Regulated Use Closure area include but are not limited to the following Oregon State Parks: Emigrant Springs, Ukiah Dale, Catherine Creek, Hilgard Junctions, Red Bridge, Wallowa Lake, Minam and Unity Lake.  Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels are allowed.

·  Debris burning is prohibited, except in burn barrels for which a Burning Permit has been issued.

·  Smoking is prohibited while traveling, except in vehicles on improved roads, in boats on the water, or at a cleared area free of flammable vegetation.

·  Non-Industrial chainsaw use is prohibited, between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Chainsaw 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 at least 1 hour following the use of each saw.

·  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.

·  Mowing of dried 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.

·  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.

·  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 2 ½ pound or larger fire extinguisher.

The use of sky lanterns, exploding targets and tracer ammunition are prohibited during fire season.

Please note that when traveling from private lands onto federally managed lands, land use restrictions may differ.  Please check restrictions before conducting outdoor activities.  More information regarding fire danger can be found at www.bmidc.org/restrictions.shtml.

http://bluemountainfireinfo.blogspot.com/ is your spot for current fire information in the Blue Mountains.

To report a fire, call Blue Mountain Interagency Dispatch at (541)963-7171 or dial 9-1-1. 


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