Thursday, September 3, 2015

Fall Weather Pattern Brings Fewer Restrictions to Private Lands

A recent change in the weather pattern has brought cooler weather and higher relative humidity to the area, allowing local fire managers to reassess and accordingly adjust the regulations for private lands in Northeast Oregon.

The fire season regulations and Regulated Use Closure will still be in effect, although the Regulated Use Closure will lower from a Phase 3 to a 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 4, 2015 at 12:01 a.m. the following regulations apply to lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry:

  • 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.

  • Debris burning is prohibited, except in burn barrels for which a Burning Permit has been issued. Contact your local ODF office to have burn barrel permits reinstated.

  • Open fires are prohibited, including campfires, charcoal fires, cooking fires and warming fires, except at certain designated locations. Check local restrictions, especially related to Oregon State Parks. Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels are allowed.

  • Non-Industrial use of chain saws is prohibited, between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Chain saw 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 one hour following the use of each saw.

  • 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 2½ pound or larger fire extinguisher.

  • 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 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 be 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.

  • Use of fireworks is prohibited.

In addition, the use of exploding targets, tracer ammunition and sky lanterns are prohibited on land protected by ODF during fire season.

“The forecast for the next few days is calling for a chance of showers in the area. This has given us the confidence to lower some of our restrictions.” Said Matt Hoehna, Wildland Fire Supervisor, Pendleton Unit. “We aren’t completely out of danger yet though. People still need to use caution and keep an eye out when they are out and about.”

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

Visit our website at or contact a local Oregon Department of Forestry office for more complete information on ODF Restrictions.

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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