[PRINEVILLE, Ore.] Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) Central Oregon District will be increasing restrictions for forest operations and the public beginning July 27, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. These restrictions are intended to reduce the risk of fire ignition on lands within the Central Oregon District in Lake, Harney, Deschutes, Crook, Wasco, Hood River, Grant, Wheeler, Gilliam, Jefferson, Morrow, and Umatilla counties. Minimal precipitation combined with increasing hot temperatures has continued to dry wildland vegetation and fuels, increasing the potential for rapid fire spread.
The Regulated-Use Closure, affecting recreational and non-industrial landowner activities, restricts many high-risk activities between the hours of 10 a.m. and 8 p.m., prohibits activities such as blasting, in addition to restricting other activities. Anyone traveling on forested roads is required to have one shovel and one gallon of water (or a 2 ½ pound fire extinguisher).
In addition to the Regulated-Use Closure, ODF will be moving the Industrial Fire Precaution Level in MH-1 (portion of The Dalles Unit east of Hwy 35) to Level 3 and MH-4 (portion of The Dalles Unit west of Hwy 35) to Level 2. A two hour fire watch is required after industrial operations are complete in both areas. Activities included in these restrictions are power saw use, loading or hauling of material, cable yarding systems, blasting, welding, cutting, and grinding of metal, rotary head saws, and other spark emitting activities. Any questions regarding these restrictions should be directed to Brian Reel, The Dalles Unit Stewardship Forester.
Industrial forest operations in the John Day and Prineville Units of the Central Oregon District will have “Additional Fire Prevention Requirements” in place to reduce the risk of fire ignition. Mechanized harvesters with rotary saws, chainsaws, tracked felling and skidding equipment, slash buster/mastication equipment, and cable yarding systems will be restricted during the hours of 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. Watchman service is required for all industrial operations.
All other fire season restrictions remain in effect. Full details of the closure and restrictions of industrial activities are available at www.ODFcentraloregon.com.
ODF’s Central Oregon District continues to serve landowners and the public as an essential service for Oregonians. Please call or email to talk with our staff or schedule an appointment. For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, including contact information and unit offices, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.