Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Public Use Restrictions and Industrial Fire Precaution Levels to Increase Forest Wide

Wallowa-Whitman NF News Release:
Public Use Restrictions and Industrial Fire Precaution Levels to Increase Forest Wide

Baker City, Ore. – Due to increased fire danger and dry weather conditions across the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, Public Use Restrictions (PURs) will move to “Phase A” and Industrial Fire Precaution Levels (IFPLs) will be increased to IFPL II effective Thursday, July 19, 2018 at 12:01 a.m. (PDT).

“Phase A” of the Public Use Restrictions are generally implemented as the fire danger is moderate to high. Beginning Thursday, July 19 at 12:01 a.m., Phase A PURs will be in effect across the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest.
Restrictions Include
1.    Operating a chainsaw outside 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.

2.    Seasonal Campfire Restrictions and Requirements described for June 1-October 31 apply.
Campfires allowed only in fire pits surrounded by dirt, rock, or commercial rings and in areas not conducive to rapid fire spread, at a minimum clear of all flammable material within a radius of 3 feet from the edge of the pit and free of overhanging material. Use existing pits wherever possible.
a.    Campfires must be attended at all times, and completely extinguished prior to leaving.
b.    Persons with campfires are required to have a tool that can serve as a shovel and one gallon of water in their possession. 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.

c.    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.

d.    Use of charcoal briquettes is permitted under the same restrictions as campfires as described above.

3.    Smoking, except within enclosed vehicles and buildings, or areas cleared of flammable material with a minimum clearance of 3 feet.

4.    Operating a motorized vehicle off National Forest System roads. 
5.    Operating a motor vehicle on National Forest System roads where vegetation or other flammable material comes into contact with the vehicle’s undercarriage.   

6.    Being on a closed National Forest System road where access has been impeded or blocked by earthen berm, logs, boulders, barrier, barricade or gate.

IFPLs regulate activities on the forest such as firewood cutting, logging, thinning and other commercial activities. For IFPL level II, the use of internal combustion engines, such as chainsaws, may not be operated between 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.

IFPL Level II went into effect for Wallowa-Whitman lands south of Interstate-84 last Friday, and this notification will place the lands north of the interstate also in IFPL II. For more information on IFPL levels, definitions and maps please visit http://bmidc.org/ifpls.shtml

For more information about Wallowa-Whitman National Forest Public Use Restrictions please visit our website at: http://www.fs.fed.us/wallowa-whitman or call one of our Forest Hotlines:
-       Baker City (541)523-1234
-       La Grande (541)962-8679
-       Joseph (541)426-5552

The public’s awareness of the increasing fire danger and cooperation is essential for a safe summer. 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 visit the Blue Mountain Interagency Dispatch webpage at www.bmidc.org or the Blue Mountain Fire Information Blog at www.bluemountainfireinfo.blogspot.com for the most recent information on fire restriction across Forest Service, BLM and Oregon Dept. of Forestry lands.

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