Saturday, June 27, 2015

Public Use Restrictions increased on the Umatilla National Forest

Due to increased fire danger and dry weather conditions, Phase A of the Public-Use Restrictions (PURS) involving chainsaw use, smoking, off-road travel, and campfires will go into effect on the Umatilla National Forest at 12:01 a.m. (PDT) on Monday, June 29, 2015. The seasonal campfire restriction remains in effect. 
‘The hot weather forecasted for this weekend will quickly elevate the fire danger across the forest,” said Brian Ebert, Deputy Fire Staff for the Umatilla National Forest. “Beginning Monday, chainsaw use will be prohibited between the hours of 1:00 PM and 8:00 PM.  Firewood cutters will want to get an early start to beat the heat,” said Ebert.
Phase A is the second 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.   
Phase A restrictions 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.
·         Smoking is allowed only in enclosed vehicles and buildings, developed recreation sites, 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.
·         Seasonal campfire restrictions and requirements described for June 1- October 31 apply.
o   Campfires allowed only 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.
o   Campfires must be attended at all times, and completely extinguished prior to leaving.
o   Persons with campfires are required to have a tool that can serve as a shovel and one gallon of water in their possession (except in specified developed recreation sites listed in Exhibit A).  The intent of this requirement is to ensure individuals with a campfire to have the tools necessary to completely extinguish their campfire per “a” above.
o   Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled gas and wood burning stoves equipped with a chimney that is at least five (5) feet in length with a spark-arresting screen consisting of ¼ inch mesh hardware cloth are allowed. 
o   Use of charcoal briquettes is permitted under the same restrictions as campfires described above.
·         The use of exploding targets is prohibited

The public’s awareness of the increasing 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 office for public use restrictions on lands protected by ODF.  Visit the Blue Mountain Interagency Dispatch webpage at: 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: may be in effect on State and private lands protected by the Washington Department of Natural Resources (WA-DNR).  Minformation can be found on the WA-DNR website at:

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

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