Thursday, October 11, 2018

Oregon Department of Forestry declares an end to fire season

La Grande, OR--As of 12:01 am, October 12, 2018, 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 74 fires burning on ODF protected lands in 2018. There have been 34 lightning fires for a total of 1,250 acres. Another 40 fires were human caused and burned a total of 158 acres. This is slightly above the 10-year average for number of fires on the district, however it is below average for the number of acres burned.

“The precipitation we’ve recently received has been a welcome change from the long dry summer. While this precipitation has greatly reduced fire danger in the region, light fuels, such as grass and light brush can dry quickly with warm and windy days. If you are burning debris or slash piles, remember to obtain the necessary permits and follow the smoke management forecast for your area. If weather conditions return to a warmer and drier pattern, we ask that landowners check previously burned piles for lingering heat. These heat sources can cause escaped fires in the right conditions.” Said Matt Howard, Wallowa Unit Forester.

With the termination of fire season, requirements for obtaining a burn permit for residential yard debris burning and burn barrels are no longer in effect.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 piles.

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 (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 must be reported within 7 days following the burn.
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.

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