Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Fall Precipitation Ends Fire Season for Lands Protected by Oregon Department of Forestry

As of 12:01 am, October 13, 2016, the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) has terminated fire season for forestlands protected by the Northeast Oregon District.  This includes private, state, county, municipal and tribal lands protected by Oregon Department of Forestry.  The Northeast Oregon District includes lands in the following counties:  Union, Baker, Umatilla, Wallowa and small portions of Grant, Morrow and Malheur counties.  The weather forecast is calling for a turn towards wetter and cooler fall weather.  Mitch Williams, Wildland Fire Supervisor, La Grande Unit reminds people to exercise caution “It’s important to remember that a warmer or windy day can dry fine fuels out quickly.  Folks burning slash or debris piles should remember that conditions can become unfavorable fairly quick this time of year.    If we have periods of warming and drying later in the fall, it’s essential for landowners to go out and check slash piles that were burnt for remaining heat that could cause a problem. It’s not uncommon for us to be fighting escaped slash fires in late October and November.”

With the termination of fire season, requirements for providing fire-fighting equipment at logging sites or obtaining a burn permit from ODF are no longer in effect.  Terminating fire season does not relieve landowners or forest operators of lawful responsibilities concerning the safe burning of debris or slash. 

         Specific Smoke Management/Burning Advisory Information:

·       If you are under the protection of a rural or city fire department, please call and ask what their burning restrictions are.  Burn permits for burn barrels or small amounts of yard debris are not required on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry.  In addition, burning within the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation requires a permit from CTUIR.  Follow all requirements within the permit.
·       Burning slash from forestry and logging activities requires a Notification of Operation/PDM from ODF.  In addition to this permit, the local ODF office must be contacted prior to ignition.  Before burning in northeast Oregon, it is important to check weather conditions relative to smoke management.  For smoke management forecasts call (541)963-9781 or visit the following website:
·       Slash burns must be registered with the local ODF office at least 7 days prior to burning and burning accomplishments after 7 days. 

The Northeast Oregon District of the Oregon Department of Forestry would like to thank all of our landowners, forest operators and the public for their efforts in fire prevention, detection and suppression activities this season.  In 2016, Northeast Oregon District had 38 fires that burned a total of 871 acres; this is well below the 10-year average of 7,500 +/- acres.  14 of the fires were lightning caused; the lowest number since 1960 for the Northeast Oregon District. 

For further information, call your local ODF office:
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, call the Blue Mountain Interagency Dispatch Center at (541)963-7171, or dial 9-1-1.  is your spot for current fire information in the Blue Mountains. 


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