Middle Mountain Fire Cause Suspicious

[The Dalles, Ore.]  Monday afternoon a fire was spotted by Central Oregon District’s detection camera operator on Middle Mountain south of Hood River.  The fire burned nearly an acre of older logging slash on Hood River County ownership.  The fire is human caused and under investigation.  Anyone with information which may help investigators find the person responsible for the fire is asked to call the Oregon State Police Tip Line, 1-800-452-7888.

Human caused fires continue to be a concern for firefighters in The Dalles Unit of the Oregon Department of Forestry.  This week’s cooler temperatures have been accompanied by strong winds and will provide only a slight reprieve to the unseasonably dry conditions as warmer temperatures return this weekend.   Implementation of fire season on May 15, 2021 was intended to restrict activities which have increased risk of igniting a wildfire.  Year-to-date The Dalles Unit has had eight fires, twice the ten-year average, burning nearly nine acres.

Fire Season Regulations

The following acts are prohibited during fire season in accordance with ORS 477.510 and ORS 477.512:

·        Smoking while working in or traveling through any operation area.

·        The use of fuse and caps for blasting, unless approval is granted by the forester.

·        The discharge of an exploding target inside the district or within one-eighth mile of the district.

·        The discharge of tracer ammunition on land that is within the district or within one-eighth mile of the district, or when discharged, crosses above land that is within the district or within one-eighth mile of the district.

Operators should refer to www.oregon.gov/odf/fire/Documents/fire-season-requirements-for-industrial-operations.pdf for information specific to industrial operations during fire season, or call their local ODF Office.

The Dalles Unit-Wasco and Hood River Counties (541)296-4626

In addition to the on-set of Fire Season in The Dalles Unit, MH-4 (west of Hwy 35 in Hood River County) and MH-1 (east of Hwy 35 in Hood River and Wasco counties) also moved into Industrial Fire Precaution Level 1, as of May 15, 2021.  Included in these restrictions is the use of fire or power-driven machinery in any forest operation unless in compliance with all fire prevention requirements (ORS Chapter 477 and OAR Chapter 629 Divisions 41 to 43).  A one hour firewatch is required after all forest operations, unless waived.

Burn permits from ODF or your local fire department are required for burn barrels and burning yard debris material (ODF will not be issuing permits for debris burning after May 15th).  Always follow all recommendations on your burn permit.  Only burn materials approved by Oregon Department of Environmental Quality for outdoor burning.  A DEQ Fact Sheet to help determine what applies in your area, or who to call for more information can be found here:  www.oregon.gov/deq/FilterDocs/OpenBurnEng.pdf.  Beginning June 1, 2021 Hood River and Wasco counties will be implementing county wide burn bans to reduce the risk of wildfire from escaped debris burns.  While campfires are not included in this ban, please verify with the respective landowner that campfires are allowed on their land and always make sure the campfire is completely out before leaving. 

For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, including contact information and unit offices, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.