Friday, April 2, 2021

Fire Managers encourage caution with spring burning

 

La Grande, OR- After a lingering late winter weather pattern, spring conditions have finally set in for much of the northeast Oregon area.  Fire managers are encouraging people who have conducted or are planning to conduct spring burning activities to follow-up any burning by making sure piles are dead-out.

While this is a prime time for cleaning up the property and conducting small burning operations, landowners are urged to educate themselves on current and expected conditions.  Being mindful of weather forecasts, including temperature, wind, and humidity can help determine if burning is advised or not.

“We’ve had some significant wind events over the past couple of weeks.  These winds have caused issues with debris burning around the state.  It is important to be aware of the weather conditions, not only at the time of the burn, but also in the following days. We’ve had a couple of debris fires in Wallowa County that were pushed by wind and burned a larger area than the landowner was wanting, as well as causing other damages.” said Matt Howard, Wallowa Unit Forester.

Debris burning is the number one human-cause of wildfire.  Many of these troublesome fires take place before and after the official fire season when landowners are not paying particularly close attention to daily and extended weather conditions.  ODF officials encourage landowners to heed caution even when conditions seem to be conducive to burning, and refer to the following checklist before burning:

 ·         Call your local fire department to see if a burning permit is required.  Burning regulations are not the same in all areas.

·         Prepare by having a shovel and charged garden hose or other water source at the burn site.

·         Find a clear site away from buildings and trees with overhanging branches.

·         Clear a circle, at least 10 feet in diameter down to mineral soil, around the pile or incinerator.

·          Divide large piles into smaller piles.  Smaller piles burn quickly and efficiently and are easier to control.

·         Avoid burning during windy conditions. Embers can travel and ignite spot fires nearby.

·         Stay with the fire, wetting down the edges to prevent escape, until it is completely out.

·         Remember, unattended piles can quickly spread out of control.  If your debris burn escapes control, call 911 immediately.

 

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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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Public Use Restrictions Lifted on the Umatilla National Forest

Contact: Darcy Weseman (541) 278-3722

October 20, 2020

PENDLETON, Ore. – Recent widespread rainfall and cooler weather conditions across the Umatilla National Forest has decreased fire danger, prompting fire managers to lift all public use restrictions pertaining to recreational chainsaw use, smoking, and off-road travel, effective 12 p.m. on Oct. 20, 2020. 

The public is encouraged to practice safe campfire principles when recreating in dispersed and developed campsites. Forest officials recommend the following campfire safety precautions:
  • Campfires should be in fire pits surrounded by dirt, rock, or commercial rings and in areas not conducive to rapid fire spread.  All flammable material shall be cleared within a 3-foot radius from the edge of the pit and free of overhanging material. Use existing pits wherever possible. (Note: within the Grande Ronde Scenic Waterway, campfires must be contained in a fireproof container (i.e., "fire pan") with sides of a height sufficient to contain all ash and debris, and all ashes and debris must be removed from the river corridor. Do not use or construct fire pits or rock fire rings within the Scenic Waterway.) 
  • Campfires must be attended at all times, and completely extinguished prior to leaving. 
  • Persons with campfires should carry a tool that can serve as a shovel and one gallon of water in their possession. The intent of this recommendation is to ensure individuals with a campfire to have the tools necessary to completely extinguish their campfire. 
The public’s awareness of the current fire danger and cooperation is essential to a safe fire season. Recreationists, firewood cutters, hunters, and other forest users can all help by closely adhering to restrictions, operating safely and cautiously and keeping up-to-date on the latest orders and regulations.
 
Please check with your local Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) office for public use restrictions on lands protected by ODF.  Visit the Blue Mountain Interagency Dispatch webpage at: www.bmidc.org or contact a local Oregon Department of Forestry office for more complete information.  Similar restrictions may be in effect on State and private lands protected by the Washington Department of Natural Resources (WA-DNR).  More information can be found on the WA-DNR website at: http://www.dnr.wa.gov/.

For more information about the Umatilla National Forest’s Public Use Restrictions, please contact our Pendleton, Oregon office at 541-278-3716, call our Forest Information Hotline at 1-877-958-9663, or visit our website at www.fs.usda.gov/umatilla/.

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Thursday, October 15, 2020

Oregon Department of Forestry declares an end to fire season

La Grande, OR--As of 12:01 am, October 17, 2020, the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) will terminate fire season for forestlands protected by the Northeast Oregon District.  This includes over 2 million acres of 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 Northeast Oregon District has responded to a total of 66 fires, to date, burning on ODF protected lands in 2020.  There have been 40 lightning fires for a total of 127.5 acres.  Another 26 fires were human caused and burned a total of 126 acres. 

“The last few days have brought quite a bit of precipitation across the region.  While the district is comfortable with removing the general fire season restrictions, it is important to remember that weather patterns could change and conditions could return to dry and windy.  This probably isn’t the right time to burn slash or large debris piles. Waiting for more moisture and a sustained fall weather pattern is key.”  Said Matt Howard, Wallowa Unit Forester.

With the termination of fire season, landowners can begin burning in burn barrels or yard debris piles. Terminating fire season does not relieve landowners or forest operators of lawful responsibilities concerning the safe burning of debris or slash piles.  

“With the exposure to wildfire smoke for an extended period this summer, as well as the COVID-19 concerns, following smoke management forecasts is very important.”  Howard stated.  “Landowners are encouraged to follow the forecast and burn in a manner that keeps smoke out of the Smoke Sensitive Receptor Areas (SSRAs).  SSRAs for the Northeast Oregon District are Pendleton, La Grande, Baker City, and Enterprise.”

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 (CTUIR) requires a permit from CTUIR.  You must follow all requirements as outlined in 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 your local ODF office or visit the following website:

http://www.odf.state.or.us/DIVISIONS/protection/fire_protection/Daily/neo.htm

Slash burns must be registered with the local ODF office at least 7 days prior to burning and burning accomplishments must be reported within 7 days following the burn.  Please remember that our offices are closed to walk-in public.  Phone your local office prior to visiting to make an appointment.  

The Northeast Oregon District of the Oregon Department of Forestry would like to thank all of our landowners, forest operators, the public and interagency partners for their efforts in fire prevention, detection and suppression activities this season.  

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.


Thursday, October 8, 2020

Regulated-Use Closure terminated on lands protected by Oregon Department of Forestry Fire Season still in effect

La Grande, Ore. As of 12:01 am, October 10, 2020, the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) is terminating the Public Use Restrictions, or Regulated Use Closure for forestlands protected by the Northeast Oregon District.  Due to moderating weather and seasonal temperatures and precipitation, the closure and the associated fire prevention restrictions are no longer necessary.  Campfires fires will be allowed with landowner permission.  Mitch Williams, La Grande Wildland Fire Supervisor, cautions “It’s been a long season.  We’re finally seeing some more seasonable weather conditions and can start to ease restrictions.  We’re not out of the woods yet.  A return to hot and dry weather can quickly dry out light fuels.  We could see more fires this year, but we are at a point where the days are shorter and generally the conditions are less favorable for large fires.”

While Public Use fire restrictions have eased, Fire Season remains in effect for private, state, county, municipal and tribal lands protected by Oregon Department of Forestry. 

·           Debris burning is prohibited this season.  This includes ALL burn barrels and debris piles.

·           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 before starting a campfire. 

·           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.

The Northeast Oregon District includes lands in the following counties:  Union, Baker, Umatilla, Wallowa and small portions of Grant, Morrow and Malheur counties.

To obtain a burn permit from ODF, 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

Fire restrictions may differ on lands protected by rural fire departments or lands managed by the US Forest Service or BLM.  Check local regulations before burning.  More information on fire restrictions can be found the Blue Mountain Interagency Dispatch Center website at www.bmidc.org/restrictions/

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

    

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


Public Use Restrictions eased on the Umatilla National Forest

Contact: Darcy Weseman (541) 278-3722

October 8, 2020

PENDLETON, Ore. – Public use restrictions (PURs) on the Umatilla National Forest will drop to PHASE A as of 12:01 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 9, 2020. 

Phase A is the first level of restrictions, generally implemented when the fire danger is moderate to high. PURS are phased in collectively, as conditions warrant, and may differ from Forest to Forest. Restrictions under Phase A include:
  • Chainsaws may be operated only between the hours of 8 p.m. and 1 p.m. local time. A one-hour fire watch is required after saw operations cease. Saw operators are required to have an axe (minimum 2 lb. head, 26” length), shovel (8” wide, 26” length), and fire extinguisher (minimum ABC 8 oz.) in their possession. **Chainsaw operation associated with commercial and personal use firewood permits are regulated under the conditions of the permit and are not impacted by this public use restriction.
  • Smoking is allowed only in enclosed vehicles, buildings or cleared areas.
  • No off-road/off-trail vehicle travel or travel on roads not cleared of standing grass or other flammable material; no vehicle travel on those FS roads where access has been impeded or blocked by earthen berm, logs, boulders, barrier, barricade or gate, or as otherwise identified in the Fire Order.
The public is also encouraged to practice safe campfire principles when recreating in dispersed and developed campsites. Forest officials recommend the following campfire safety precautions:
  • Campfires should be in fire pits surrounded by dirt, rock, or commercial rings and in areas not conducive to rapid fire spread.  All flammable material shall be cleared within a 3-foot radius from the edge of the pit and free of overhanging material. Use existing pits wherever possible. (Note: within the Grande Ronde Scenic Waterway, campfires must be contained in a fireproof container (i.e., "fire pan") with sides of a height sufficient to contain all ash and debris, and all ashes and debris must be removed from the river corridor. Do not use or construct fire pits or rock fire rings within the Scenic Waterway.)
  • Campfires must be attended at all times, and completely extinguished prior to leaving. 
  • Persons with campfires should carry a tool that can serve as a shovel and one gallon of water in their possession. The intent of this recommendation is to ensure individuals with a campfire to have the tools necessary to completely extinguish their campfire. 
The public’s awareness of the fire danger and cooperation is essential to a safe fire season. Recreationists, firewood cutters, hunters, and other forest users can all help by closely adhering to restrictions, operating safely and cautiously and keeping up-to-date on the latest orders and regulations. 
Regulated closures may be in effect on State and private lands protected by Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) in northeast and central Oregon. Please check with your local Oregon Department of Forestry office for PURs on lands protected by ODF. For more complete information, contact a local Oregon Department of Forestry office or visit one of the interagency dispatch center’s webpages:

Blue Mountain Interagency Dispatch webpage: www.bmidc.org 
John Day Interagency Dispatch webpage:  http://bicc-jdidc.org/index.shtml 

Similar restrictions may also be in effect on State and private lands protected by the Washington Department of Natural Resources (WA-DNR). More information can be found on the WA-DNR website at: http://www.dnr.wa.gov/.  

For more information regarding Phase A Public Use Restrictions, please contact:
Umatilla National Forest: 
Information Hotline: Toll-Free (877) 958-9663 
www.facebook.com/UmatillaNF  
Twitter: @UmatillaNF

Additional information about the Umatilla National Forest is available at https://www.fs.usda.gov/umatilla. 
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Sunday, October 4, 2020

BMIDC Morning Briefing, Sunday, October 4, 2020

BMIDC MORNING BRIEFING

Sunday, October 4, 2020

BMIDC WEBSITE

10/2 (NEW) INITIAL ATTACK

Fires

Acres

Umatilla National Forest

0

0

Wallowa Whitman National Forest

0

0

Vale District BLM Baker Area

0

0

NEO Oregon Department of Forestry

0

0

WA DNR Snake River Unit

0

0

BIA Umatilla Agency

0

0

Total

0

0

INCIDENT SUMMARY

10/3

No Activity

For Incident Information, please visit,  http://www.wildcad.net/WCORBMC.htm

 

Example OR-WWF-000206, East Pine.  BPFZ.  T7S R46E Sec 16 NESW.  Fish Lake Road Area.  6 Miles North of Halfway, OR.  1.3 Acres.  Lightning Caused.  Grass and Timber.  

 

Saturday, October 3, 2020

BMIDC Morning Briefing, Saturday, October 3, 2020

 

BMIDC MORNING BRIEFING

Saturday, October 3, 2020

BMIDC WEBSITE

10/2 (NEW) INITIAL ATTACK

Fires

Acres

Umatilla National Forest

0

0

Wallowa Whitman National Forest

0

0

Vale District BLM Baker Area

0

0

NEO Oregon Department of Forestry

0

0

WA DNR Snake River Unit

1

0.1

BIA Umatilla Agency

0

0

Total

1

0.1

INCIDENT SUMMARY

10/2

WA-DNR-21289, Touchet Road. 9N R40E Sec 31. J Able Ranch Area, 9 Miles SE of Dayton, WA. 0.1 Acres. Human Caused. Out: 10/02 1134.

For Incident Information, please visit,  http://www.wildcad.net/WCORBMC.htm

Example OR-WWF-000206, East Pine.  BPFZ.  T7S R46E Sec 16 NESW.  Fish Lake Road Area.  6 Miles North of Halfway, OR.  1.3 Acres.  Lightning Caused.  Grass and Timber.